Skip to main content

ESPN Offseason Ratings: Brooklyn Nets Tagged As Worst In The East With D+ Grade

Kevin Durant

Just a few years after signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the same summer, the Brooklyn Nets are watching it all crumble down before their very eyes.

Kevin Durant wants out, Kyrie Irving is likely headed out after next season, and James is long gone after just a few months with the team.

With all of that considered, it's no surprise that Brooklyn ranked near the bottom (D+) of ESPN's 2022 offseason ratings.

Only time will tell whether the Nets overplayed their hand with Durant or can convince him to rescind his trade request ahead of free agency. Either way, Brooklyn’s handling of Kyrie Irving’s player option has left the team with major questions about all three of their best players heading into training camp: Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons, the latter looking at a 16-month layoff between competitive games and coming off back surgery.

In terms of the moves the Nets did make, sending the Utah Jazz a first-round pick for Royce O’Neale feels like an overpay given how O’Neale’s defense has declined the past two seasons. He now leans much more toward the “3” half of the 3-and-D equation, same as incumbent Brooklyn perimeter players Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Patty Mills. I liked adding former Indiana Pacers starter T.J. Warren in the hopes he can get healthy, but his deal’s low price (the veteran’s minimum) seems to suggest other teams don’t expect that this season.

On paper, the Nets are still one of the strongest teams in the league. With Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Kyrie Irving, they have a core that can compete with the best in the league.

Sadly, that core is on the verge of a major split, and the Nets have done little to resolve it. Chances are, no matter how the Nets look entering next season, they will be too busy fighting internally to make any real progress on the court.