Saturday, June 25, 2022

Nets linked with key free agent amid Ben Simmons decision

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It seems that the Brooklyn Networks are looking to bring back their current core group of players, specifically the big three Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. Though Simmons is unable to make his Brooklyn debut due to injuries and mental health issues, they plan to make him a part of their future. It was recently reported that “all signs point to Kyrie Irving returning to Brooklyn next season”. These reports, coupled with news The team expects to have Irving, Durant and Simmons on their roster and healthy coming next October, suggest the networks appear to be running it back.

If you believe the news, you can put some of the Nets trade rumors to one side and it looks like the team is looking for a free hand. First and foremost, they have free reign players to make decisions about, including Andre Drummond, Bruce Brownand Nick Claxton. Apart from that, the nets were connected to other important free agents. Some names the team could add are Carmelo Anthony, Joe Ingles, Caleb Martin, and more.

An interesting possibility related to the Nets is veteran sniper Joe Ingles. Ingles is recovering from injury and is expected to return to the Utah Jazz, but it’s not guaranteed. His shooting, ball handling, dressing room presence and even his defense could be an advantage for the Nets. While Ingles’ return to Utah is likely, the Nets could perhaps be one of the few teams that could pull the shooter away. Ingles is a member of the Australia national team and is good friends with both Patty Mills and Ben Simmons.

Heavys NBA Insider Sean Deveney spoke to an Eastern Conference GM about the possibility of Ingles playing in Brooklyn with his Australian teammates.

“Joe is obviously a guy who loved being in Utah and would love to go back. However, it’s hard to say where the future goes with this team, (Quin) Snyder is out, will they rebuild? With Ingles, I mean he’s turning 35, can he still play? He looked a little beat up when he played last year. That’s the worry. But he obviously has a relationship with Patty (Mills) if Patty stays there, and more importantly for the Nets, he has a relationship with Ben Simmons. It must be worth the roster spot to bring Ingles in and let him help Simmons as much as possible. They’re going to push him because they really need to make Simmons as comfortable as possible,” the Eastern Conference GM told Deveney.

If Ingles could come along and be a positive influence on Ben Simmons next season, that alone could be worth the move. But beyond that, Ingles has the potential to hit a big three or contribute as a playmaker on the Nets offense. He’s also a wonderful guy in the locker room and acted as the cornerstone of that locker room in Utah.

Since Simmons appears to be staying in Brooklyn, the comments about how the nets are likely to use him bring some context to what the team thinks. Simmons is expected to play roles as both a point guard and a point forward. Both will be interesting to watch.

“I think he plays both [point guard and point forward]” Nash told reporters May 11. “I think he will handle the ball, start the offensive, especially when switching. He’s an incredible playmaker, but we have the luxury that Ben can also be a roller, a playmaker outside of pick and roll.”

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