The Brooklyn Nets underachieved incredibly this past 2021-22 season. Entering as the pre-season favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June, the Nets were swept in the first round by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA playoffs. In this post, though, we’re going to be looking at some Nets 2022 NBA free agency targets.
Brooklyn was in the midst of a potentially nightmare offseason when rumblings about Kyrie Irving leaving in free agency became louder. However, Irving put those rumors to bed for now when he opted in on the final year of his deal to remain with the Nets for at least the 2022-23 season.
With Uncle Drew still in town for at least the next year, the Nets should remain one of the favorites to win the 2023 NBA title. With that said, Brooklyn should sign the right free agents around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as they prepare for another run at a championship next season. Here are two players the Nets must sign in 2022 NBA free agency.
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Nets 2022 NBA free agency targets
2. Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown is perhaps the most important role player for the Nets. He will become an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer and could command a big bag from other teams as well. Several reports indicate that Brown could receive a deal within Brooklyn should do everything it can to retain the do-it-all wing.
Brown averaged 9.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. He also shot 40.4 percent from long distance, though on low volume of just 1.3 3-point shot attempts per game. As you can see, the 6-foot-4 forward’s numbers don’t necessarily jump out the page. But his impact on the Nets goes way beyond the stat sheet. Brown is able to affect the game with his tremendous hustle and energy.
The 25-year-old did step it up a notch in the playoffs, averaging 14.0 points and 4.8 rebounds, while knocking down 42.9 percent of his threes and 56.8 percent from the field overall.
Brown has served as the glue guy for this Nets team the last couple of seasons. Losing him to another potential contender could hurt them down the line.
1. PJ Tucker
One player that is quite molded into that Bruce Brown build — or should we say, the player that Bruce Brown is molding his game into — is PJ Tucker. Tucker declined his $7.4 million player option, which makes him an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer.
Like Brown, Tucker is a hustler and a scrappy defensive-minded player. At 6-foot-5 and a burly 245-pound frame, the forward would fit seamlessly alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Over the years, Tucker has developed into one of the better 3-and-D players in the NBA.
For most of his career, he has served as an enforcer for his squads. He should bring that same role and mindset if ever he chooses to come to the Nets. Last season with the Heat, Tucker turned in averages of 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 71 games.
At age 37, Tucker likely won’t get any lucrative deals. As such, the Nets could land the Raleigh, North Carolina native on a similar deal to the one he signed with Miami, but on a longer contract.
In addition, Tucker already has an established rapport with Nets franchise superstar Kevin Durant. The two may have had a heated playoff battle two seasons ago versus the eventual 2021 champion Bucks, which Tucker was a part of. But both are actually really good friends in real life — and the Nets should hope this translates to tremendous chemistry on the basketball floor.