The Brooklyn Nets, who are currently in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoffs, have found a gem in the form of 6’9″ center, Brook Lopez. The Nets made a run at Lopez during the trade deadline, but the player’s value didn’t drop below the $10 million mark, which wasn’t enough to jump into the deal. Now, with only about three weeks left in the regular season, however, there is now a chance Lopez’s value will fall, and the Nets should be relieved at the prospect of acquiring him.
The Brooklyn Nets have been desperate for a reliable big man since Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young left town. They had been linked to a number of big names in free agency, and at one point even had a deal in place for Dwight Howard. But when Howard’s buyout agreement with the Charlotte Hornets became official, the Nets were left with very few options—and one of them ended up being the most unexpected player on the board.
As a franchise that has the most recent draft pick of any team in the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets have been positioned to be quite competitive for the years to come. They’re not accustomed to finishing top-3 in the draft, but with the Charlotte Bobcats (picks 2 & 3) and the Orlando Magic (picks 4 & 5) already having traded away their picks, they’ve been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pick up the best player in the lottery, which they did in the person of 6-foot-9, 220-pound big man Fab Melo.
In order to win a championship, the Brooklyn Nets set about building their super squad, which included Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. It was also on the verge of working. In the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs, they brought the Milwaukee Bucks to Game 7. The Nets would have been a problem for the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns if they had progressed.
There’s every reason to think their big three will reap the benefits of a complete summer and return to form in the fall. Furthermore, they got a strong indication over the weekend that they would retain a key supplementary component in the fold as well.
Blake Griffin was a fantastic addition to the Brooklyn Nets’ roster.
On June 15, 2021 in New York City, Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets defends the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals at Barclays Center. | Getty Images/Steven Ryan
Blake Griffin, the No. 1 overall selection of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009, was signed by the Nets late in the 2020-21 NBA season. Griffin was out for the whole of his rookie season due to a knee injury, but he returned to establish himself as a consistent 20-point scorer early in his career.
Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons halfway through the 2017-18 season by the Clippers. In 2019, he was an All-Star, but in Detroit, the 6-foot-9 power forward evolved into a different player, shooting more from the outside and neglecting his all-around game.
Last season, he spent the last three weeks of his Pistons career on the bench before agreeing to a buyout. Griffin picked the Nets over the Pistons because he was free to go anywhere he wanted with the Pistons covering nearly his entire contract.
Griffin debuted with the Nets on March 21 and appeared in 26 games. Griffin, despite his low scoring, helped the Nets cover a hole by starting 10 games and averaging 21.5 minutes per night with Jeff Green.
Blake Griffin wants to play for the Nets again.
“There’s hope that Blake Griffin wants to be back,” Woj says of the Nets.
July 25, 2021 — Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA)
Griffin, 32, wants to return to the Nets next season, according to ESPN basketball expert Adrian Wojnarowski. With just a week before free agency begins, the front office and coaching staff in Brooklyn are relieved.
This is especially true when it comes to money. The Pistons will continue to pay the majority of Griffin’s contract, more than $29.7 million according to Spotrac.com, for one more season since the Pistons bought him out. Griffin may press the Nets for a contract extension, but the next season would be unaffected.
Green, a journeyman who averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds last season, will be able to benefit from the money saved. Green, on the other hand, has been playing for the veterans’ minimum in recent seasons and naturally wants a bigger contract. According to the New York Post, if the reigning champs lose Bobby Portis, he is expected to join the Milwaukee Bucks.
Griffin and Green would be retained in the best-case scenario for the Nets. Even if the worst happens, keeping Griffin is still a victory.
In Brooklyn, Blake Griffin remade himself.
Griffin was not the same forward on NBA courts in previous seasons as he was in the second half of the just-completed season.
Griffin played low-post with the Clippers during his first seven seasons, averaging 21.5 points on 51.8 percent shooting and 9.4 rebounds per game. Griffin drifted out to the perimeter during his last half season with LA and his stint with Detroit. He was shooting 40 percent from outside the 3-point line, with just minimal accuracy, and he wasn’t rebounding nearly as well.
The Nets didn’t need Griffin to score while Durant, Harden, and Irving were on the court. As a result, he made a happy adjustment to his strategy. Griffin averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 26 games for Brooklyn, which isn’t a big enough sample size to make firm conclusions, but he was extremely productive, averaging 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing less than half the game.
He was more accurate and chose better places to fire his 3-pointers, leading to his highest total field-goal accuracy (49.2% ) in five years. In other words, by taking a supporting position, he gave Brooklyn a huge lift.
This continued throughout the playoffs, giving the Nets even more reason to be excited about having him back this autumn.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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After a few months of waiting, the Brooklyn Nets have finally landed the man they wanted more than almost any other center in the NBA. They had to wait to get him, of course. The Nets landed Brook Lopez, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound man who has the athleticism, skill set and character to be a franchise centerpiece. He played five seasons with the Nets, but never really fit the mold of a franchise player. He was a solid player, but never the one that could lead a team to a championship.. Read more about brooklyn nets record and let us know what you think.
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