Nets offseason preview: Free agency targets, upcoming free agents & key issues to solve

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MusikAnimal, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Nets‘ offseason 2022 looks way different than what they would’ve wanted. They were the biggest favorite to win the NBA Championship, yet they couldn’t even win a single playoff game after barely reaching the postseason.

The Nets were one of the biggest disappointments in recent NBA history. Off-court stories often drove the attention their way, with Kyrie Irving being a part-time player, James Harden‘s desire to leave, and Ben Simmons‘ mysterious back injury.

Nets offseason 2022

All things considered, the Nets’ offseason plans need to be well-thought and articulate. This team lacked leadership on the court and on the bench, and building around two superstars isn’t as easy as it seems. Also, Kyrie said that he wants to help ‘manage’ the team, and we know he’s not an easy guy to please.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at their current salary cap situation, upcoming Brooklyn Nets free agents, and even some realistic Nets offseason targets.

Upcoming Brooklyn Nets free agents

Of all the upcoming Brooklyn Nets free agents, Bruce Brown is the most important. He’s one of their few good defenders, can play on and off the ball, and even showed some under-the-radar scoring skills when he was needed to step up.

Andre Drummond already said that he was with them until the end of the season, and it’s not like he brought anything to the table for them that they didn’t already have with Nic Claxton. Patty Mills is likely to pick up his very lucrative player option.

The Nets will have no use for LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin, both out of Steve Nash‘s rotation. As for Goran Dragic, the Mavs and Lakers were heavy suitors for him mid-season, so they could resume talks in the offseason after a failed trip to the playoffs.

Nets cap space 2022

The Nets’ cap space 2022 is quite limited and that will be a big concern going forward. Their only hope besides a Cam Thomas breakout season is to bring in more veterans on team-friendly deals as they look to win a ring before retiring.


  • Active contracts: $157,843,675
  • Dead cap money: $11,438,379
  • Total salary cap usage: $172,820,410
  • Estimated 2021-22 luxury tax bill: $97,731,568
  • Salary on the books for 2022-23: $186,447,119

(Per Boardroom)

Kyrie Irving’s free agency will be key

Kyrie Irving’s free agency puts the Nets in a tough spot. On one hand, you don’t want to cross this guy, especially because he’s Kevin Durant‘s best friend. On the other, he’s proven that he can’t be trusted when it matters the most, and he’s been AWOL at several points in both of his seasons in Brooklyn.

Irving is eligible to sign a supermax contract extension and he should, by all means, get it, talent-wise. But he showed a lack of commitment to the team’s plans and it seems like there’s something bigger than basketball on his mind at all times. Is he worth the risk? Will they dare make KD uncomfortable by not offering him a max deal?

Ben Simmons needs to stop running from his problems

The other big story with this team will be whether they can get Ben Simmons back on the court. He’s acknowledged that stress is aggravating his injured lower-back and continues to claim he’s got a mental block. If that’s the case, then he needs to get help ASAP.

Simmons is one of the best defenders and playmakers in the world. Having him on the court will allow both Kyrie and KD to play off the ball and take their offense to a whole new level. They can’t afford to have him sitting out big games.

Even some of his teammates were shocked and disappointed by the news of him not suiting up for Game 4 against the Boston Celtics. He’ll have a lot to prove next season, especially with several colleagues calling him out for his alleged lack of competitiveness.

Nets offseason targets

Chris Boucher

Even though he excelled in Pascal Siakam‘s absence, Chris Boucher was still in and out of Nick Nurse’s rotation. But his skill set is tailor-made for what the Nets needed in the playoffs: A rim protector who can help them stretch the floor and won’t hurt their spacing.

Boucher can play at both the four and the five, is a solid shot-blocker, and can consistently hit three-pointers. He’s flown under the radar for most of his career and won’t require much money to sign for a championship contender. Given his two-way skills, he could be the Nets’ X-factor if properly used.

Markieff Morris

The Boston Celtics outhustled the Nets. They bullied them inside and outside of the restricted area and their lack of size and strength was evident more often than not. So, what does a team that’s needing a bruiser in the offseason? They pick up the phone and reach out to one of the Morris brothers.

Markieff Morris barely played this season after his altercation with Nikola Jokic and the Miami Heat did just fine without him, so they may not be tempted to pay him in the offseason. His physicality, defense, and streaky shooting could be a huge boost for the Nets.

Gary Harris

Gary Harris‘ time with the Orlando Magic should be coming to an end. They want to get younger and have a huge logjam in the backcourt, especially with Markelle Fultz back. Harris was once touted as a solid two-way player but his time off with injuries took a toll on his market value.

That’s why he’d be wise to take a big pay cut to showcase his skills on a short-term deal with the Brooklyn Nets. He’d be a major defensive upgrade for their backcourt and could give them another ball-handling guard if needed. Also, he’s a better scorer than Bruce Brown.

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo is thirsty for revenge. He wants to prove that he’s still got it after being counted out multiple times and barely seeing the floor with the Miami Heat. He needs to sign a short-term deal and the Nets would give him the chance to play for a contender.

Oladipo could even come off the bench and be one of the best Sixth Men in the league. He can play on and off the ball and can play both guard spots and even defend some small forwards. The talent is still there, so he’s worth the shot.

Robert Covington

Robert Covington could be hard to get, as the Los Angeles Clippers know they can’t afford to let him go. He’s one of the best 3-and-D players in the league and is one of the few players who can actually guard one through five.

That’s why the Nets need to pursue him. He can be on the floor in all-shooters lineups and could take plenty of defensive pressure off Kevin Durant‘s shoulders. With Ben Simmons leading the way and Covington anchoring their defense, this is a championship-winning team.

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