After plenty of moves, how will the New-Look Nets fare?


Nets team at the Start of Season (Via Google)

The Brooklyn Nets have made several trades before the deadline, on February 9th, shipping away both of their superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, leaving the team looking very different.

The first trade that the team made on February 6th, shipped Kyrie Irving off to the Dallas Mavericks after Irving requested a trade on February 4th. They received  Spencer Dinwiddie (A former Net), Dorian Finney-Smith,  two future first round picks, and a 2029 second round pick in return for Irving and Markieff Morris, who asked for a trade in order to get playing time. I honestly believe that this trade was a decent trade for both teams with the Nets getting some more role players while the Mavericks add another superstar around Luka Doncic to hopefully fuel a deep postseason run. 

The second and more surprising trade that went down a few hours before the deadline on February 9th is when the team shipped off Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns and got  Defensive Player of The Year runner up Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, four first round picks and a 2028 first round pick swap in return. The trade addresses Phoenix’s need for another star around Devin Booker as they have shown that they can play with the stars that they have and make it to the finals, as they did two years ago, falling short to the Milwaukee Bucks four games to two. While the Nets get two young players and alot of future first round picks to fuel the Nets future.

New addition Cam Johnson in Brooklyn (Via Google)

The Nets are currently two and six since the trades have been completed and one of the main things that is missing from this team is defense, as the defensive rating of the Nets has been the second worst in the league (125.3) since the trade deadline. 

Coach Jacque Vaughn said this in an post game interview about Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges when asked about the defensive flaws of the team: “When you’ve been raised in a system like the two kids from Phoenix, they’ve been raised in that system, that’s all they know. So the terminology is different; my communication is different with them. What we’re trying to accomplish is different. It just doesn’t happen in five games like that.” And had this to say when he was asked about Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, who came from the Dallas trade: “The other two are coming from a different organization, too, where some of their switches are different than ours. The way we do them, the ability to keep them in front, why we do them. So it’s still explaining the why to our guys right now. I think it’s going to click. I believe it’s going to click. But there’s some defensive terminology and some stuff scheme-wise that we’re still getting a grasp of.” 

The defense system in Brooklyn is different from any other team in the NBA as the Nets switch matchups as much as any team in the NBA while most other teams would rather stick with the same matchup throughout a screen so it is not a surprise that some of the new players are still getting adjusted to the system.

The Nets are sitting at the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and currently have the fifth hardest remaining schedule in the NBA through the last 22 games of the season, I believe that this team will have some adjustments to make in terms of the substitutions and getting the right players in at the right time and making sure that there is some type of accountability being held at the defensive end of the ball. Even with all of these concerns I believe that the Nets will be alright and will make it to the playoffs with ease while winning some more games down the line.