The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Brooklyn Nets, who hope to stay healthy enough to challenge for a championship after injuries derailed a promising 2020-21 campaign.
Note — PG Kyrie Irving will not play or practice until deemed fully eligible to participate in games and team activities, the Nets announced Tuesday.
Brooklyn Nets 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Cameron Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Paul Millsap
Thomas could be a steal after falling in the draft and should be an immediate contributor off the bench. Aldridge has been cleared to return after having a heart scare last season. Millsap and Mills add a veteran presence to an otherwise youthful bench.
Key departures: Spencer Dinwiddie, Landry Shamet, DeAndre Jordan
Dinwiddie is a sizable loss, but Mills makes up for his skillset on the offensive end. Shamet’s versatility as a wing is important, but he’s not making or breaking Brooklyn’s title chances. Jordan’s exit was surprising given his connection to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but ultimately he didn’t fit the style of the team. His declining production didn’t help his cause either.
The Nets expect to win a championship. Durant and Irving paired up in Brooklyn to win titles. Harden forced his way to Brooklyn to win titles. Blake Griffin, Aldridge, Millsap and Mills are on board to win a title. The goal is crystal clear this season. Anything less than Brooklyn lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy would be a disappointment.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Cameron Thomas
Thomas unexpectedly fell to the late first round of the NBA draft, which allowed the Nets to swoop in and grab the LSU star. The guard is young, but he’s a volume scorer capable of getting buckets on the second unit. Working with scorers like Durant, Irving and Harden will only help his development. Combine all that with Thomas’ chip on his shoulder and you’ve got the makings of an impressive rookie campaign. Fantasy managers can grab him as a lottery ticket late in drafts, and he’ll be a useful value play as the season goes on in DFS formats.