Free Agency Grades: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are entering perhaps the most highly anticipated season in the organization’s history. The team will finally pair superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, at full health, in hopes of competing for a championship.
With no cap space during the brief offseason, general manager Sean Marks had to get creative with finalizing his 2020-21 roster. The Nets made changes around the edges and solidified the rotation while maintaining a crop of young players to possibly help land a third star down the line.
Here is what the Brooklyn Nets did during free agency and how it fits into their plans for this season and beyond.
Joe Harris re-signs for 4 years, $75 million
Joe Harris is a hand and glove fit with this current Nets roster, and it was only right that he returned to Brooklyn to finish what the team was building. Harris is a career 42.6 percent shooter from downtown, one of the best marksmen in the NBA.
With the defensive attention that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will attract, expect Harris to receive even more open looks than in the past.
Harris earned plenty of looks in the offseason, and shooting is one of the quintessential resources in today’s NBA. This is a perfectly fine contract.
Harris’ game revolves around shooting off screens or otherwise driving and finishing through contact, both of those qualities should still be there for him as he ages. The Nets had Harris’ Bird Rights and brought back a fan favorite, albeit at a slightly inflated price.
Sean Marks wasn’t kidding when he said that re-signing Joe Harris was their top priority this offseason. Harris has improved every year since joining the Nets in 2016, when his NBA career was in doubt.
Harris is a lights out shooter and high character guy that would fit well with any team in the league. Harris will now be paid over $18 million per season and the Nets retain one of their core pieces, it’s a win for everybody involved.
Jeff Green signs 1-year, veteran’s minimum
Jeff Green will not be asked to do too in the grand scheme of things. Green understands his role and is not a player who oversteps his boundaries or tries to do too much.
Expect Green to play a role like the one Wilson Chandler filled for the Nets last season. Green is a quiet addition to this team but is a sneaky under-the-radar pickup for a Nets team that will pay the luxury tax this season and in need of reliable talent.
Jeff Green is the consummate NBA journeyman. The Nets secure him on the veteran’s minimum, which isn’t bad considering Green will likely earn some consistent minutes at the end of the bench. When healthy, he’s an upgrade from Wilson Chandler.
Jeff Green is a FOK, or friend of Kevin (Durant), as Nets fans say. He is a high-spirited veteran who is respected around the league.
Even better, though, he is still a very serviceable player. Green averaged 12.2 points per game on 56.4 percent shooting from the field last year with the Rockets. Ready to compete teams usually fill their team with a surplus of veterans and that is exactly what the Nets are doing by adding Green.
Tyler Johnson re-signs for 1-year, veteran’s minimum
Barring some type of major trade, the fit is questionable with Johnson. The Nets have a surplus of guards, all of which you can make a case are more deserving of a rotation spot. Johnson is a solid player, but now, his fit with the Nets is somewhat questionable.
Coming off an impressive stretch of basketball during the Bubble, this is a bit of a steal. He averaged 12 points per game on 38.9 percent shooting from deep in the eight seeding games down in Orlando. Johnson’s familiarity with the team is good insurance against any injuries.
How Johnson fits on this team is still to be determined, but the Nets have always been high on TJ dating back to 2016 when Sean Marks threw him a bloated 4-year, $50 million contract.
Johnson and the Nets finally got their reunion before the resumption of play in the NBA bubble and he has capitalized on his opportunity. Overall, this is a very underrated signing.