If fully healthy, those three will hoard a significant amount of minutes in head coach Steve Nash‘s rotation.
Injuries will certainly dictate how Nash fleshes out the rotation, but roster depth remains something of a concern.
The team tinkered with the roster around its three stars this offseason and looked to leverage what worked last season.
Brooklyn re-signed Blake Griffin after the six-time All-Star’s solid run.
The Nets also brought back Bruce Brown, a do-it-all player who complemented their stars well.
The Nets filled out the remainder of the roster with DeAndre’ Bembry and a bevy of rookie talent.
DeAndre Jordan Out The Door
One veteran who isn’t expected to be in the rotation next season is DeAndre Jordan.
Brooklyn and the 33-year-old center are reportedly working on a buyout of the remaining two years and nearly $20 million on his contract.
— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) August 30, 2021
Jordan’s age, contract, and declining production indicate a buyout is more likely than a trade.
Although Jordan joined the team in 2019 with Durant and Irving, he fell out of Nash’s rotation completely last postseason.
After playing in 57 games and making 43 starts last season, Jordan did not make a single appearance for the Nets in the playoffs.
Should Jordan and Brooklyn not be able to settle on buyout terms, it’s unlikely the one-time All-Star returns to meaningful minutes with the Nets.
James Johnson Most Likely To Ride The Bench
Last season, Green provided the Nets with surprisingly effective play as an undersized center.
At 6-foot-8, Green occupied the small-ball center roll and averaged 11 points per game and made 41.2 percent of his threes.
Green remained an integral part of Nash’s rotation last season, but the veteran opted to sign a two-year, $9 million deal with the Denver Nuggets instead of returning to Brooklyn.
To replace him, the Nets brought in 12-year NBA journeyman James Johnson.
Brooklyn represents Johnson’s fifth team in three seasons, but the 6-foot-7 forward brings a defensive toughness the Nets lacked at times last season.
That said, Johnson has never been a consistent starter in the league and remains a fringe rotation player at this point.
At 34 years old, Johnson divided his time last season between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.
He averaged 7.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game over 51 appearances.
Johnson made just 25.8 percent of his three-point attempts last year, so he’s not a capable floor spacer for Brooklyn’s big three.
Beyond that, the Nets’ interest in potential buyout candidates like Kevin Love make a regular rotation role for Johnson all the more unlikely.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 28, 2021
Johnson does provide a positional versatility that this roster needs, and his defensive toughness will elevate play on that end.
But with Brooklyn playing small so often, some frontcourt minutes will go to Brown.
And it’s hard to envision a role for a player like Johnson who is not a consistent player from beyond the arc.