It’s safe to say that the Brooklyn Nets hit a home run during the 2019 NBA free agency period. They landed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant away from their respective teams and should be considered one of the favorites in the east for the 2021 season.
However, with Durant’s injury, this could be a lost season for the Nets. Should the team tank to land a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft? We will answer that question and give an outlook on the Nets’ future going forward.
Major moves in free agency
The Nets were able to land Kyrie from Boston and Durant from Golden State even though both were speculated to go to the other team in NYC, the New York Knicks. They were also able to land big man DeAndre Jordan in the middle, and have formed their own big three at the Barclay Center.
However, they won’t be able to play together until training camp in 2020 as Durant’s injury will keep him out for the entire upcoming season.
Kevin Durant’s injury
After dealing with a quad injury during the first round of the playoffs, Kevin Durant returned for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Warriors needed a spark to match up against Kawhi Leonard (who elevated his game during this playoff run). He came back in what looked to be top form, scoring 12 points in 11 minutes.
Things took a tragic turn when he landed awkwardly on his leg, tearing his Achilles. This injury will keep him out for the entire 2019-20 season and fans can only hope he comes back at as close to full strength as possible when he finally suits up for the Brooklyn Nets.
Kyrie Irving on the mend?
Irving also just spent time in the hospital due to a facial injury. Fans will have to wonder how quickly he can get back on a basketball court to gel with his new teammates.
When healthy, Irving is one of the top point guards in the NBA and can score at will with a team that lost a majority of its scoring punch when executing the sign-and-trade of D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors.
How will the team do without Durant this season?
With Kawhi Leonard going to the Western Conference, Milwaukee will again be considered a favorite in the east. Philadelphia added Al Horford and has arguably the best starting five in the conference.
Boston is also a contender for the top crown in the Eastern Conference, but we expect the Nets to land in the fourth or fifth spot once the season is over. A 45-win season would be a good number with the current roster, and they could make it to the second round.
Should the Brooklyn Nets tank?
We don’t think the Nets should tank next year. Continuing their playoff momentum is the smarter move in the long run.
It would improve the value of the team heading into the 2020-21 season and can increase ticket prices when Durant is able to get back on the floor.
Next year’s crop of talent in the 2020 NBA Draft likely isn’t franchise-altering either, so trading away a top-five pick may not net the superstar the team would be hoping for. If it was a 2021 pick, then there would be a reason to tank, but next year’s draft class doesn’t have a Zion Williamson type of player available.
What do you think the Brooklyn Nets will do?
Do you think the Brooklyn Nets should tank next season in hopes of planning a high draft pick? That’s not a smart move in our eyes. If you want more news from around the league, be sure to check out our NBA section.