Without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, nobody expected the Brooklyn Nets to make much impact in the 2018-19 NBA season. Most people considered the Nets as a team who’s still in the middle of a rebuilding process and have the salary cap space to chase big names in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, the Nets exceeded the expectations and proved their doubters wrong when the season officially started.
If they remain healthy throughout the season, the Nets have a strong chance of earning a playoff spot in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference. When the season is over, the Nets are expected to make major moves that could help them become a legitimate title contender in the league. According to Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report, the Nets’ top priority in the 2019 NBA offseason should be re-signing D’Angelo Russell, who earned his first NBA All-Star selection this season.
D’Angelo Russell has proven his capability to lead a franchise in just two seasons of playing in Brooklyn. This season, the 23-year-old point guard is averaging 20.5 points, 6.8 assists, and 1.1 steals on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Even after giving Russell a huge payday, the Nets will still have enough salary cap space to sign another All-Star caliber player in the 2019 NBA free agency.
Fromal suggested that the Nets could target Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Tobias Harris would fit perfectly. Not only can he supplement the backcourt scorers with his shot-creation skills from either forward position, but he’s a gifted spot-up threat who’d fit nicely alongside both Dinwiddie and Russell. Luring him away from the Philadelphia 76ers might be tough, but money shouldn’t be an issue for a franchise with a rebuilding timetable into which Harris, still only 26 years old, fits rather nicely. Given his well-rounded skill set, the man who began the 2018-19 campaign as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers would mesh with almost any team throughout the NBA.”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) March 4, 2019
Tobias Harris will undeniably be an incredible addition to the Nets, giving them a proven veteran who can play efficiently with other NBA superstars. In his seven years of playing in the NBA, Harris has turned himself into a reliable scoring option, and his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity makes him a perfect fit with D’Angelo Russell. In the first nine games he played as a Sixer, Harris is averaging 21.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists 52.2 percent shooting from the field and 39.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
When they acquired him from the Los Angeles Clippers before the February NBA trade deadline, the Sixers expressed their willingness to spend a huge amount of money just to bring Tobias Harris back, making it harder for the Nets to steal him in free agency. However, anything can happen until Harris finally inks a new contract next July.