The Brooklyn Nets (formerly New Jersey Nets) have had some superstar players compete for the franchise throughout history. The Nets have always been an attractive franchise, mainly because it has always been somewhere within the vicinity of New York. This season, the Nets are lucky to be in the play-in tournament considering the injuries they have had.
But throughout Nets history, the franchise have had some elite talent whether they come in the form of scorers, leaders, or playmakers. It is time to continue our series of the best scorers in franchise history, this time we focus on the Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets. Some names that appear might be strange, but there will also be some very recognizable names within the top-5. Without further ado, here are the 10 best scorers in Brooklyn Nets history.
Requirements: Per Basketball-Reference, the minimum is 100 games for every player in order to make the list for the franchise. Even though Kevin Durant played only 90 games, we will make an exception here and add him on the list, because he will make it with the next 10 games for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2022-23 NBA season.
10. Derrick Coleman - 19.9 PPG
(5 Seasons, 1991-1995)
Derrick Coleman became an All-Star with the New Jersey Nets at age 26 and competed in the NBA for his first 5 seasons with the franchise. The power forward was known for his paint play and decent floor-spacing and was generally consistent in providing all the above for his side.
After capturing Rookie of the Year averaging 18.4 PPG for the Nets, Coleman averaged 19.8 PPG and 9.5 RPG the following season. Clearly on a roll, Derrick dropped 20.7 PPG in his third season before averaging 20.2 PPG and 11.3 RPG in his 4th season - which earned him an All-Star selection. Coleman played his last great season in 1995 before his decline would start elsewhere.
9. Bernard King - 20.2 PPG
(3 Seasons, 1978-1979, 1993)
After getting drafted No. 7 overall in 1977 by the New Jersey Nets, Bernard King would complete two seasons with the franchise before moving onto different teams (eventually landing in New York with the Knicks). Upon his arrival to the league, King made All-Rookie Team with the Nets by averaging 24.2 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
The following year, King dropped 21.6 PPG and 8.2 RPG on 52.2% shooting from the field. The talented small forward clearly had a knack for getting buckets, and his first two seasons in the league would be an indication of what the Knicks would find out. In his final season, King would return to the Nets and averaged 7.0 PPG through 32 games.
8. Levern Tart - 20.4 PPG
(4 Seasons, 1968-1969, 1970, 1971)
Levern Tart certainly had an interesting career, because he would get traded by the Oakland Oaks before landing with the New Jersey Americans in the first season of his career. Tart averaged 19.0 PPG for the New York franchise and made the first All-Star Team of his career. The following year, as a member of the New York Nets, Tart averaged 14.7 PPG before moving on yet again to two other teams.
The 6’2” shooting guard would make his second All-Star Team in 1970, averaging 24.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG on 49.5% shooting from the field for the New York Nets. He started off the following year in 1971 quite well, putting up 18.1 PPG but once again would move teams before falling out of the league once the season was over.
7. Mike Newlin - 21.2 PPG
(2 Seasons, 1980-1981)
A 6’4” shooting guard that was drafted by the Houston Rockets, Mike Newlin completed the first 8 seasons of his career with the team that drafted him. Newlin was not an All-Star with the Rockets, but he did average at least 17 PPG with the franchise 3 times during his stint with Houston.
In his 9th season at age 31, Newlin blossomed in his first season with the Nets by posting 20.9 PPG on 46.0% from the field and 88.4% from the free-throw line. This seemingly came out of nowhere, because the shooting guard was on a decline before that. His last season with the Nets was even better, as he dropped 21.4 PPG but would retire two seasons later.
6. Stephon Marbury - 23.0 PPG
(3 Seasons, 1999-2001)
After making All-Rookie Team with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Stephon Marbury would be moved to the New Jersey Nets after only 18 games into his third NBA season. As soon as he landed with the Nets, Marbury averaged 23.4 PPG through 31 games played.
The talented point guard would put up 22.2 PPG on 43.2% shooting from the field the following season, showcasing his talents as a scorer and playmaker. In his final season with the Nets before departing to the Phoenix Suns, Marbury made his first All-Star Team by posting 23.9 PPG and 7.6 APG.
5. Vince Carter - 23.6 PPG
(5 Seasons, 2005-2009)
The man who placed the Toronto Raptors on the map, most people might forget that Vince Carter had a successful stint with the New Jersey Nets in his prime. After getting traded in the 2005 season after making 5 straight All-Star appearances, Carter made his debut with the Nets and posted 27.5 PPG through 57 games, and earned his 6th All-Star appearance.
The scoring machine would make 2 more All-Star appearances in his career with the Nets, posting 24.2 PPG and 25.2 PPG in 2006 and 2007 respectively. At ages 31 and 32, Carter began slowing down slightly and averaged 21.3 PPG and 20.8 PPG respectively before joining the Orlando Magic the following year.
4. Kyrie Irving - 27.1 PPG
(3 Seasons, 2020-2022)
Easily one of the greatest ball-handlers and offensive point guards of all time, Kyrie Irving has been on the Brooklyn Nets roster for three seasons so far. An elite shooter and scorer, the point guard is also one of the most exciting players to watch. In his first season with the Nets, Kyrie only played 20 games but averaged 27.4 PPG on 47.8% shooting from the field and 39.4% from three.
The following year, Kyrie barely played yet again and appeared in 54 games with an average of 26.9 PPG on 50.6% from the field, 40.2% from three, and 92.2% from the stripe. This season, Kyrie barely played yet again (covid vaccination rules) but still managed an average of 27.4 PPG through 29 games.
3. Julius Erving - 28.2 PPG
(3 Seasons, 1974-1976)
Julius Erving had one of the greatest starts to a professional career when he made 5 straight All-Star Teams with the Virginia Squires and New York Nets. The small forward was clearly an explosive athlete at 6’7”, and had some of the greatest explosiveness we have ever seen. In his third professional season with the Nets, Erving dropped 27.4 PPG on 51.2% shooting from the field. The following year, Erving dropped 27.9 PPG on 50.6% shooting from the field.
Erving is considered one of the greatest dunkers and athletes of all time, and his rapid start to his professional career gave fans an indication of what to expect when the superstar arrived in the NBA. In his final season with the New York Nets, Erving put up 29.3 PPG on 50.7% shooting. Not only is Dr. J one of the greatest ABA players ever, but one of the greatest NBA players ever as well.
2. Kevin Durant - 28.7 PPG
(2 Seasons, 2021-2022)
While it is far too soon to claim that Kevin Durant is the greatest player in Nets history, he has to be the most talented scorer to ever play for the franchise. The forward is unstoppable from all areas of the floor, and that is evident by his scoring average with the franchise he joined in 2020 (did not play due to injury).
Durant posted sublime averages of 26.9 PPG in his first season back from an Achilles injury, nailing 53.7% of his field goals, 45.0% of his threes, and 88.2% of his free throws. This year, Durant played in 55 games and dropped 29.9 PPG on 51.8% FG, 38.3% 3-PT FG, and 91.0% FT. Clearly an elite scorer, KD has a chance to solidify himself as the Nets' greatest player ever if he can win a few championships.
1. Rick Barry - 30.6 PPG
(2 Seasons, 1971-1972)
A scoring champion in the ABA in his second season with the San Francisco Warriors, Rick Barry started his professional career with a bang. The small forward also played the final two seasons of his ABA career with the New York Nets, posting 29.4 PPG on 46.9% from the field and 89.0% from the stripe in the first season.
His second season with the Nets was also extremely impressive, as the swingman averaged 31.5 PPG on 45.8% shooting from the field and 87.8% from the stripe. Armed with elite handles, shooting, and physicality; Rick Barry found it extremely easy to get buckets against defenders, and that translated into the NBA as well.
Most Points In Brooklyn Nets History
Here are the ten players with the most total points in Brooklyn Nets history:
1. Brook Lopez - 10,444
2. Buck Williams - 10,440
3. Vince Carter - 8,834
4. Richard Jefferson - 8,507
5. Jason Kidd - 7,373
6. Kerry Kittles - 7,096
7. Derrick Coleman - 6,930
8. Chris Morris - 6,762
9. Mike Gminski - 6,415
10. Otis Birdsong - 5,968