The Brooklyn Nets recently concluded a run as one of the worst franchises in the NBA. Not only did the team have several consecutive losing seasons, but due to an ill-advised trade with the Boston Celtics, the team didn’t even get to enjoy high draft picks.
Due to some smart draft picks and signings, the Nets finally returned to the playoffs this year, losing in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers. But the team’s future appears bright enough that, per one new report, some of this year’s top free agents are interested in possibly signing with Brooklyn.
According to a SportsNet New York report, three top free agents — Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Tobias Harris — “will at least consider” signing to play with the Nets this summer. The report is sourced to “several league sources.” One of the sources told the outlet that the Nets very much helped their chances at landing top free agents by making the playoffs this season.
SportsNet also reported that Durant is specifically interested in playing alongside Caris Levert, the Nets’ young guard who has been called “Baby Durant.”
The piece lists several elements about the Nets with the potential to attract free agents, or at least get them meetings: “Big market, culture, young core, winning team, and a coaching staff that focuses on players’ development and well-being, both on and off the court.”
"SNY has learned that while Durant has yet to make any sort of decision, he's interested in playing alongside the 24-year-old LeVert, who was on track for an All-Star season before suffering a dislocated foot back in November." https://t.co/OaH3USzJQa— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) May 1, 2019
This summer will have one of the most star-studded NBA free agent classes in memory, with Durant, Leonard, and Harris joined by Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker. The Nets’ D’Angelo Russell, who has improved notably since the team acquired him two seasons ago, is also a free agent this offseason.
However, the Nets will have a great deal of competition for those players. Their New York counterparts, the Knicks, will also have salary cap space and have long been linked to Durant, while both teams in Los Angeles, the Lakers and Clippers, are also expected among the top free agent destinations this summer.
In addition, the last time the Nets added star players, in the person of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, it cost them years of draft picks.
The Nets, after all those years of no top draft pick, will also have two first rounders this year, as well as a pick at the top of the second round that used to belong to the Knicks.