With their latest additions, the Brooklyn Nets have beefed up the supporting cast around their Monster Big 3. But what does their depth look like now?
Last season, the Brooklyn Nets had just a few complications: The health of their Big 3, their depth and their defense. While the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving didn’t share the court too often, the brief glimpses of what could be justified Harden’s “scary hours” tweet.
As each member of the Big 3 missed significant time during the regular or postseason, Brooklyn’s lack of depth reared its head. However, the moves made this offseason by Brooklyn’s front office show that they’re looking to fix that issue, and by doing so, hopefully, address their defensive woes.
Last week, the Athletic reported that the Nets signed free-agent power forward Paul Milsap and ESPN reported re-signed LaMarcus Aldridge, who had recently been cleared to return to the court after a heart issue forced him to retire prematurely last April. The signings, while not the biggest names this free agency, can become very valuable pickups for the Brooklyn team looking to overtake the East and match up with the presumed Western Conference favorites, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The two former all-stars provide front-court depth from crafty big men who can contribute in several ways. With Durant and Blake Griffin also lining up in the frontcourt, Brooklyn’s front-court may not be the biggest or brawliest, but they are a crop of intelligent basketball players who know where to be at the right time.
How will the Brooklyn Nets’ depth chart look with LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap?
Furthermore, expect to see Nicolas Claxton get some rotational minutes in the frontcourt, as his defensive versatility as a big man was a bright spot for the Nets last season. Sekou Doumbouya, who was acquired from the Pistons, might be clawing for minutes, but he is also a versatile defensive big that may be able to contribute in various lineups.
On the wing, Brooklyn will start three-point marksmen Joe Harris and likely have Bruce Brown and James Johnson rotate in for the versatility, toughness and defensive ability. DeAndre Bembry and rookie Cam Thomas should split the backup minutes at shooting guard, while Patty Mills should see the court plenty behind or alongside either Irving and Harden. New pickup Jevon Carter may also provide some clean-up duty minutes in the backcourt.
Point Guard: Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, Jevon Carter
Shooting Guard: Harden, Cam Thomas, DeAndre Bembry
Small Forward: Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, James Johnson
Power Forward: Durant, Millsap, Sekou Doumbouya
Center: Blake Griffin, Aldridge, Nicolas Claxton