The team is still chasing their first NBA title, but on paper, this is perhaps their most talented roster since coming over from the ABA when the two leagues merged in 1976.
First, the Nets executed a trade for Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince and a 2021 second round pick, dealing Allen Crabbe and first rounders, including this year’s 17th overall pick, Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
“We’re excited to welcome Taurean and his family to Brooklyn,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “Taurean is an athletic frontcourt player who brings defensive toughness and versatility to our team, and we believe he’ll be a strong fit in Kenny’s system.”
The Nets then helped facilitate a sign-and-trade, which saw veteran forward DeMarre Carroll land a three-year, $21 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs. The Nets acquired Nemanja Dangubic and Wizards forward Aaron White in return from the three-team deal.
“We would like to thank DeMarre for everything he brought to our team both on and off the court during his two seasons in Brooklyn, and wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward,” said Marks.
Then followed their big acquisitions, maneuvering to sign former Knicks center and elite defensive post presence DeAndre Jordan, six-time All-Star Kyrie Irving and two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, in that order.
Jordan’s deal is reportedly worth $40 million over four years, while Irving and Durant are said to bank $140 million and $164 million, respectively, over the same amount of time. Durant’s deal became a sign-and-trade, which saw the Nets also acquire a top-20 protected first round pick from the Golden State Warriors, where they sent D’Angelo Russell, Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham. The latter two will land in Minnesota and play for the Timberwolves, who were heavily interested in Russell at the start of free agency.
On Jordan, an All-NBA Defender, Marks lauded his leadership and defense.
“We are thrilled to welcome DeAndre and his family to Brooklyn,” said Marks. “As a veteran center with All-NBA and All-Defensive Team honors on his resume, DeAndre will provide us with the type of defensive mindset, toughness and leadership that are needed to compete at the highest levels of the NBA.”
With Irving, who doesn’t arrive without controversy and the cost of blossoming All-Star D’Angelo Russell – the Nets acquire a lifelong Net fan, who grew up in New Jersey and longed to play for the team who plays where he considers his ‘home.’
“The entire coaching staff is excited to have the opportunity to coach a player of Kyrie’s caliber,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, who is entering his fourth season with the team. “He is as talented and accomplished as any point guard in our game and we are enthusiastic about integrating him and our other new roster additions into our returning core.”
Durant, who will be rehabbing a ruptured Achilles suffered in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in June, will likely miss most if not the entire 2019-20 season.
Still, he is already the most high profile star to ever sign with the Nets franchise.
“Along with the rest of the league, our coaching staff has long admired Kevin’s incredible skill, resilience and tenacity,” said Atkinson. “He has already established himself as a champion and one of the best players of all-time, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him into our program in Brooklyn.”
“We would also like to thank D’Angelo for all he has done for the Nets over the past two seasons,” added Marks. “He was an integral part of the team’s growth and served as a tremendous representative of the Nets and Brooklyn. We wish him, Shabazz and Treveon nothing but the best in the years ahead.”
Nets officials say they have no immediate plans yet for a formal press conference to introduce their new acquisitions at this time.