Sunday, June 26, 2022

Nets could lose all-star free agent to top contender, GM says

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Brooklyn Nets All-Star free agent Blake Griffin played a career-low 17.1 minutes per game during the 2021-22 season, according to Basketball-Reference. It’s the first time in his career that he’s averaged less than 20 minutes per game in a season. Griffin played just 25 total minutes for the Nets in their first-round playoff elimination against the Boston Celtics. And with such a significant drop in minutes this season, it doesn’t seem like the six-time All-Star will be a part of the team’s future.

Griffin may not be the explosive, high-flying athlete he was when he was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA draft, but he still has enough athleticism and defensive intensity to serve on a competitive team to be. An Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that the Dallas Mavericks may be interested in the all-star forward.

“The Mavericks are a team; You’ll be looking for some energy up front from the bank. They really need to redesign their frontcourt, even though they played so well in the playoffs. They need a young man, a shot blocker, they’re going to be aggressive with that,” the general manager told Deveney.

“But they will need some depth. They were too small in front. A guy like [Blake] Griffin, in spurts. he fits in well there.”

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The Nets have a host of players from the 2022 roster due to enter free agency on July 1. And even though Brooklyn had a disappointing 2022 season that ended in the first round, they still have plenty of talented players who could be a key asset to other contenders in the league. The East general manager told Deveney that Nets free agent big man Nicolas Claxton could also be on the Mavericks’ radar.

“I think the Mavericks would be looking for a guy like that,” the general manager told Deveney of Claxton. “You see, if the networks plan to match offers for him, it might not be easy for him to get an offer at first. But a team that needs a young man with a growing roster makes a lot of sense Dallas but can they arrange things so they can make a good offer?

Although the Mavericks traded their big man Kristaps Porzingis on deadline day and lost their guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to injury, they made it into this year’s Western Conference Finals. And they gave everything they could to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. But Dallas has proven they are genuine contenders ready to take the next step and could therefore be key buyers during this year’s free agency period.

They’ve added former Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie to their squad, who in a flash was a legitimate co-star alongside Luka Doncic, who has proven to be a true superstar in this league. If they can line up the right players around their key figures, the Mavericks could be in a great position to win their first title of the post-Nowitzki era early.

CONTINUE READING: Nets Kevin Durant makes bold statement on Kobe Bryant and Lakers win in NBA Finals

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