Brooklyn Nets 2022/2023 Season Preview
The last few seasons have been full of upheaval in Brooklyn, and this past off-season didn’t give fans much hope that the next 12 months would be any different. Kyrie Irving opted into his contract only after exploring his options, while Kevin Durant, upon hearing of Irving’s final decision, requested a trade of his own. He has since rescinded this request and vowed to make good on his contract with the Nets, but how relationships with Coach Steve Nash and various front office executives will be repaired going forward remains to be seen.
Oh yeah, did I mention Ben Simmons, the key returning piece in the James Harden deal last season, hasn’t suited up for a game yet either? Sheesh!
There is plenty of change on the roster coming into the season. Several role-playing veterans leave the squad in Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic, Bruce Brown and LaMarcus Aldridge, and are replaced by a plethora of replacements on top of re-signings. Markieff Morris, Royce O’Neale, TJ Warren and Yuta Watanabe highlight the names coming onto the roster, while emerging big Nicolas Claxton and fan favourite Patty Mills both signed on to stay on the squad during the off-season.
Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant (right) both tried to flee Brooklyn this off-season, before eventually agreeing to return. Credit: Fadeaway World
There are so many variables with this team heading into the season. On top of major player turnover, there are rumours about Steve Nash’s job security being thin as Head Coach, as well as uncertainty around multiple returning star players. Kyrie Irving’s absences on short-notice have become a point of laughter around the league, Kevin Durant’s future remains uncertain after his antics during the off-season and Ben Simmons is yet to even take to the court in a Nets uniform.
Add this to the fact TJ Warren didn’t play a single minute last season for Indiana, Morris was a peripheral player at best in Miami last season and Yuta Watanabe has only managed 121 games in four seasons and the picture that is painted is full of uncertainty.
The Nets have a huge gap between their ceiling and floor this season, arguably the NBA’s largest. If things click, Simmons, Irving and Durant all commit and take the floor often, this team can legitimately win a Championship. If they don’t for any reason, or more instability occurs surrounding Head Coach Steve Nash, this team could fall hard down the standings.
Ceiling: 3rd seed.
Floor: 9th seed