The Brooklyn Nets are a team that is led by their big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. They are the favorite for the championship next season if they're healthy. Having a deep bench is essential for a contender, as good bench players can lessen the load on stars during the regular season.
A potential way that the Nets could load up their bench is by going after some of Kevin Durant's former teammates in free agency. Kevin Durant is a superstar who has a lot of influence in the league, and perhaps he could convince some of his past teammates to join him in the quest to win a championship. Mike Luciano of Nothin' But Nets provided 3 players that used to play with Durant who could potentially help the Brooklyn Nets.
The first player on the list is JaVale McGee, Durant's teammate from his time with the Golden State Warriors. JaVale McGee has been part of several championship squads, and he does the key things you want out of a veteran center. He protects the rim, gets rebounds, and finishes at the basket on the offensive end. The Brooklyn Nets ran small-ball fairly effectively during these playoffs, but adding a player who gives you the option to go big could be useful, especially on a veteran minimum.
McGee, who played with Durant during his time with the Warriors, already has a proven history of being a solid rebounder and shot-blocker on a team capable of winning a championship. If anyone in the league needs a player with McGee’s exact skill set, it’s Brooklyn.
Team USA has been a breeding ground for handshake agreements that serve as the forerunner for some wild NBA transactions. If you don’t think that Durant is selling McGee on the promise of coming to Brooklyn, getting a starting role, and competing for yet another championship, you’re being misled.
McGee’s offensive game might not hold much value outside of the paint, and he’ll turn 34 in the middle of next year, but the Nets shouldn’t be worried about that. All they need is for McGee to show up and play the same style that has helped him earn a very long career in this league. He should be cheap, too.
Next up is Enes Kanter, who played with Durant during his Oklahoma City days. Enes Kanter is a very capable center on the offensive end, and despite his defensive woes, he can still be a great option for teams when they're in need of instant offense off the bench. He could give them a different way to attack opposing defenses with his ability in the post.
Kanter has been a bit of a journeyman over the last few years, bouncing from team to team in trades despite putting up some really solid offensive production. Durant and Kanter briefly shared the floor when the big man arrived in Oklahoma City via trade, and a reunion could happen.
Kanter averaged 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last year, the second full season in his career in which he’s averaged a double-double. The big man made 60% of his shots, showing that when it comes to finding an interior finisher on the low block, there are few better.
While Griffin was able to provide some inside scoring in addition to 3-point shooting, Kanter will be a more traditional center and screen-setter that could make the Nets somehow even more dangerous whenever they decide to slice right into the heart of the defense.
Kanter might not provide the best return on the defensive side of the ball, but considering that the Nets need some warm bodies capable of adding height and scoring down low to avoid becoming a one-dimensional team, he’d be a nice fit.
Lastly, Luciano mentions Andre Iguodala, who is a veteran SF that was part of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. Andre Iguodala provides defense and playmaking off the bench, and his experience in the playoffs and the Finals could prove useful to a team with the aspirations of winning it all. Iguodala is at his best with scoring around him, which the Brooklyn Nets have plenty of on the roster.
Iguodala has a $15 million club option for next year, but considering that his best days might be behind him, the Heat might be inclined to let him go instead of retaining him for that absurd price. And if he hits the open market, he could reunite with a former Golden State teammate in Durant.
The three-time champ traded in gaudy stats from his Philadelphia days in order to become a versatile switchblade on the defensive end still capable of some emphatic dunks for a contender. Brooklyn has plenty of wing scoring talent with Durant and Harden, but Iguodala could provide the slight edge they need.
Everywhere Iguodala seems to go, victories follow. Even though he was far from the top scoring option on that Miami team that shocked the world last year, his ability to provide stability and defense on an inexperienced team helped them pull off several upsets. Brooklyn has more experience, but Iguodala’s presence would still be welcomed.
There is no question that these three veterans could potentially be a good fit with the Brooklyn Nets, and perhaps Kevin Durant could convince them to come team up with him once again, and be part of a roster that could win it all.