The Brooklyn Nets entered the offseason much sooner than expected this 12 months. Despite being certainly one of the Eastern Conference favorites to make a run for the title, the Nets ended up within the Play-In Tournament at the tip of the regular season.
Their status as a Play-In team ended early as a giant win over the Cleveland Cavaliers allowed the Nets to lock up the seventh seed. But from then on, Brooklyn couldn’t get a win.
The Boston Celtics took care of business in four-straight matchups. With two wins in Boston after which two more in Brooklyn, the Nets’ postseason led to a sweep. Now, there are significant query marks surrounding their stars.
For Ben Simmons, the three-time All-Star underwent back surgery firstly of the postseason. As he sat on the bench for each game since getting traded to Brooklyn from the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons’ fit with the Nets stays unknown going into next 12 months.
As for Kevin Durant, he locked right into a long-term extension with the Nets last offseason, but he’s reportedly been keeping his distance ever because the playoff run ended. Then, there may be Kyrie Irving, who’s rumored to be out of Brooklyn’s long-term plans, in response to a report from Kristian Winfield of the Latest York Every day News.
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“The Nets’ championship hopes hinge on an amicable solution with Irving, whose personal decision to not get vaccinated and unpredictable injury history have left the Nets hesitant, and now, in response to a source accustomed to the Nets’ thought process, outright unwilling to provide him a long-term extension.”
The Irving-Durant-led Nets couldn’t get Brooklyn past the primary round this 12 months, however the star duo itself could still work with a a lot better supporting solid.
Nevertheless, it seems the Nets aren’t too thrilled with the way in which all the things transpired throughout the 2021-2022 season regarding Irving. As Irving’s first-half hiatus and second-half status as a part-time player caused lots of issues for the championship-hopeful Nets, Brooklyn appears to be trending towards closing the book on Irving earlier than later.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You possibly can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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