The NBA postseason is in full swing, however the Nets season ended two weeks in the past — which means they’re already planning and plotting for subsequent season already.

Brooklyn common supervisor Sean Marks (to not point out coach Jacque Vaughn and workforce proprietor Joe Tsai) might be busy this summer time with some massive questions looming on the horizon. Buying and selling Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in February closed their championship window, however there may be loads of retooling left to do and selections to be made.

What’s the long-term plan at level guard?

With Spencer Dinwiddie’s future with the workforce something however sure (extra on that later), it’s unclear what the long-term plan is…however the excellent plan is Damian Lillard. There are whispers that Brooklyn’s curiosity within the Portland star may be very actual. Lillard is shut with rising Nets star Mikal Bridges, whom he has referred to as his favourite small ahead in your entire NBA and who works out within the offseason with Lillard and his Path Blazers teammates Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little.

And after Lillard confirmed up unexpectedly to observe the Nets face Philadelphia within the first spherical of the playoffs, Bridges was requested in regards to the All-Star level guard’s presence and coyly mentioned, “I do know individuals.”


Mikal Bridges and Damian Lillard have lengthy been buddies, and the Nets could have the property to additionally make them teammates.
NBAE by way of Getty Photographs

The 32-year-old’s prodigious scoring, shot creation, management and excessive character are all traits the Nets want. He’s below contract for 4 years, and — making $56.6 million subsequent season — Brooklyn would wish to ship Portland not solely a trove of picks but in addition gamers making no less than $36.5 million.

Logically, that will imply Nic Claxton or Ben Simmons, in addition to a few of their glut of wings (or the first-round picks they may get in return for them, to be rerouted to Portland).

How frightened ought to Nets followers be Cam Johnson received’t be again?

Not very. Johnson is likely one of the few Nets who really acquitted himself nicely within the first-round sweep by the hands of Philadelphia. And whereas this workforce isn’t ok but to prioritize postseason efficiency over regular-season efficiency, it undoubtedly issues.

The sweet-shooting ahead turned down a four-year, $72 million provide from the Phoenix Suns earlier than getting traded, and after arriving in Brooklyn, a number of NBA sources advised The Publish that was the ground for re-signing him, however it could in all probability take extra like $80 million.


Cameron Johnson #2 of the Brooklyn Nets slams the ball in the first half at Barclays Center, Friday, April 7, 2023, in Brooklyn, NY.
A profession 39 p.c 3-point shooter, Cameron Johnson may demand a contract within the neighborhood of $80 million for 4 years this summer time.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Publish

That quantity has solely gone up primarily based on the best way Johnson has carried out, and if the Nets don’t lock him up throughout their window between the top of the NBA Finals and the beginning of free company, he may land a proposal sheet close to or equal to his pal Bridges’ $90 million.

The truth that Johnson and Bridges are so shut that they had been dubbed “The Twins” again in Phoenix solely provides to his job safety right here in Brooklyn, as does the actual fact a workforce that desires to amass him in a sign-and-trade would face being hard-capped.

The Nets have an abundance of wings. What sorts of gamers may they be focusing on for these they’re keen to deal?

Versatile bigs and shot-creating level guards.

Claxton emerged with a career-year and was fifth in Most Improved Participant voting, however the beginning middle nonetheless wants assist. Any workforce as switch-happy as Brooklyn by default creates a weak point on the defensive glass, and the Nets know they will’t subsist with only one dependable massive man. “For sure we have to make some modifications by way of including some dimension,” Marks mentioned. “I feel [Vaughn] mentioned it, add just a little nastiness.”


Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket as Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets defends during the third quarter of game 3 in round 1 of the NBA Playoffs.
The Nets will want extra massive males than simply Nic Claxton to take care of the likes of Joel Embiid a number of occasions every season.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Publish

And whereas Dinwiddie is the one veteran level guard or confirmed shot-creator on the roster, the Nets had been listening to presents on him proper after they acquired him. They elected to maintain him, however who is aware of what occurs over the summer time with Dinwiddie on a $20.4 million expiring deal. He’s extension-eligible for 4 years and $128 million beginning Aug. 7, which appears a bridge too far.

Brooklyn may use replacements or enhances. With Dillon Brooks banished, may the Nets ship a wing (Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith) to Memphis for Tyus Jones or Brandon Clarke?

What’s the Nets’ finest hope to recoup some worth from Ben Simmons?

Primarily, let it trip. Simmons is a three-time All-Star, and the one participant on the roster to have been voted into the midseason showcase. Getting him wholesome and as near his former self as attainable is a prime offseason precedence. Proper now, with two years and $78.2 million left on his contract, his worth is at a low ebb, and attaching much-needed draft picks to maneuver a distressed asset makes little sense (except he helps carry again a star like Lillard).


Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons, second from l., sits on the bench during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Barclays Center, Sunday, April 2, 2023, in Brooklyn, NY.
Having gotten Ben Simmons on the court docket for less than 42 video games within the final season-plus, the Nets’ finest hope to get one thing from the three-time All-Star is that he in some way returns to well being.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Publish

Simmons had a microdiscectomy in Might 2021 and his nerves ought to take 18 months to totally heal, which means roughly a month into subsequent season. However after being shut down in February with an impingement, sources advised the Publish the Nets ought to know early this month whether or not Simmons wants one other surgical procedure.

Each Nets sources and others near Simmons anticipate him to keep away from one other operation, the latter including, “The group round Ben has seen a whole change in Ben’s focus and mentality by this rehab and the way he’s attacked it and engaged with every thing.”

Including to the sense of optimism, Australian nationwide workforce head coach Brian Goorjian advised SEN (the nationwide sports activities radio community) Friday that “there’s a actually sturdy likelihood” Simmons may play for the Boomers within the FIBA World Cup, tipping off Aug. 25. That’s roughly a month earlier than the Nets open camp.

The Nets can solely hope so, as a result of that’s how they’ll get worth from him.