Mikal Bridges

Nets offseason preview: Free agents, financial outlook & Ben Simmons

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Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets will get a chance to have a bit of a clean slate, which is why the Nets offseason plans for 2023 will be such a big talking point after this tumultuous season. They swung for the fences and missed, but it’s not the end of the world by any means.

However, the future of the franchise will most likely hinge on what they do in the next couple of months or so. Will they fully embrace a rebuild? Will they let go of some of their newly-acquired assets? Or will they try and make a run at stars again?

Nets offseason plans 2023

In the following paragraphs, we’ll try and answer some of these questions, taking a look at their current roster, the upcoming Nets free agents, their financial landscape, and one of the biggest issues they need to address going forward.

Where do the Nets go from here?

The Brooklyn Nets had a shot at becoming one of the greatest NBA dynasties of all time. They were supposed to rule the Eastern Conference for the better part of this decade, yet their stars decided it was best for them to just get a fresh start somewhere else. The Nets franchise tried to keep them hostage, but it became evident that they needed to go at some point.

They were 27-13 before Kevin Durant fell with an injury. They got plenty of their first-round picks back by dealing Durant and Kyrie Irving, not to mention an interesting trio of young assets to build around in Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and even Dorian Finney-Smith. That’s nice, all things considered, after all they went through.


Of course, Sean Marks would’ve most likely preferred to swap his disgruntled stars for another couple of All-Stars, but that was never going to be the case at this point. They got the second-best possible return, which is valuable draft picks and young players that could still turn out to be pretty solid.

The Nets currently owe a couple of unprotected first-round picks to the Houston Rockets, as well as a couple of first-round pick swaps. That means they’re in no position to tank right now, as they would pretty much give away valuable picks to the Rockets and continue to pay the price for that now-infamous James Harden trade. So, they need to compete.

Mikal Bridges was nothing short of spectacular in his first couple of months with the organization. He was more aggressive, more assertive as a scorer, and we already know what he can bring to the table on the defensive end of the floor and in terms of durability.

Nic Claxton emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and he’s on quite the team-friendly deal, so he looks like another ideal building block for Jacque Vaughn‘s project going forward. Will they try and trade for another All-Star? Will they give it up all again? Or have they learned from their past mistakes?


Of course, the Nets offseason plans in 2023 will also depend on their finances. They could avoid paying the repeater tax in 2024, but there’s no guarantee they’re in the clear for their upcoming season. That’s assuming they want to bring Cam Johnson back, although they could still manage to get that deal done while staying under the tax.


From a financial standpoint, they would be wise to try and cut expenses and look to reset their tax clock for when they’re actually ready to compete at the highest level and obliged to pay up to keep or bring in some All-Star caliber players.

Even so, Joe Tsai and company have never hesitated to pull the trigger and spend big bucks if needed, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise if they do it again this season. The new CBA establishes some hefty penalties and taxes for teams going over the cap, but this shouldn’t be an issue for one of the wealthiest guys on Earth.

Nets free agents in 2023

Of course, the biggest among the Nets free agency targets in 2023 should be Cam Johnson. Seth Curry will most likely pursue a ring on a more championship-ready team, so they might look to hold on to Yuta Watanabe to have another three-point specialist on board.

The Ben Simmons situation

Last but not least, most Nets offseason rumors will also focus on Ben Simmons and his health. This guy was supposed to be a perennial All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year candidate, yet he’s barely played for the Nets, and his confidence seems way off.

There have been plenty of doubts about Simmons’ character and feel for the game. He already got paid, so he might not be motivated to be out there and give it his best night in and night out, especially if the team is in no rush or under pressure to bring him back.

Simmons suffered a back injury that kept him on the shelf for most of the season. He has the potential to be the team’s best player as a generational playmaker and defender, but he’s also admitted that he has some mental hurdles that prevent him from fulfilling his potential.

Should the Nets continue to bank their success on a player like him? They might not have much of an alternative, as Simmons’ trade value is at an all-time low right now, and he’s set to make a bunch load of money for years to come.

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