Those plucky Nets finally caught a break.
Paul Millsap has agreed to a deal with Brooklyn, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, giving the NBA championship favorites another piece to add to an incredibly talented group. The veteran forward considered other contenders such as the Clippers and Warriors, per Charania, but Millsap ultimately signed with the Nets to bring an end to what had been a long free-agency period.
That’s not all, though. Charania also reported Thursday morning that LaMarcus Aldridge, who retired in April because of a heart issue, could be on his way back to Brooklyn after being cleared to play. The seven-time All-Star joined the Nets last season after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs, but he was only able to play five games with the team before health concerns suddenly ended his career.
More moves could be coming — the Nets have to tighten up the roster at some point — but let’s take an early look at this loaded rotation.
Nets roster, projected lineup for 2021-22 season
|PG||James Harden||Patty Mills||Jevon Carter|
|SG||Kyrie Irving||Cameron Thomas||DeAndre’ Bembry|
|SF||Joe Harris||Bruce Brown||Alize Johnson|
|PF||Kevin Durant||Paul Millsap||James Johnson|
|C||Blake Griffin||Nicolas Claxton||Day’Ron Sharpe|
Some quick notes…
- Everything starts with Brooklyn’s “Big Three” of Durant, Harden and Irving. As long as the stars are healthy and aligned in their championship mission, the Nets will be difficult to take down in a seven-game series.
- DeAndre Jordan and the Nets are reportedly working toward a buyout, so he has been removed from this depth chart. That leaves Griffin to reprise the same role he had during the 2021 NBA playoffs.
- Mills should provide a huge boost off the bench. The longtime Spurs super-sub is a reliable scorer and shooter (38.8 percent on 3-pointers for his career) and should thrive alongside elite offensive talent.
- Brown is listed in the small forward category here, but he could be placed in just about any slot. He can be a spot starter, a backup guard or even a small-ball center depending on the lineup.
- Brooklyn will likely give Millsap minutes similar to what he received last season in Denver (20.8 minutes per game). The expectations won’t be super high: defense, rebounding, leadership and the occasional bucket.
- Thomas is an intriguing reserve to watch. He averaged 27 points per game in the Las Vegas Summer League, scoring at every level and drawing a ton of fouls. Will the Nets bring him along slowly, or can he steal a decent amount of minutes as a rookie?
- Have fun, Steve Nash.