Brooklyn Nets: What are reasonable expectations for 2019-20?

NBA Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
NBA Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

After a sensational summer, what is considered reasonable expectations for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019-20?

The Brooklyn Nets had the offseason of a lifetime. Not only did Brooklyn manage to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to four-year deals, but they did it while beating the New York Knicks to the punch in the process.

Brooklyn officially runs New York Basketball and their window to become a powerhouse starts this season.

A torrid few years caused by the disastrous trade with the Boston Celtics saw them part with three future first-round picks and a pick swap in 2013. They then received a 37-year-old Kevin Garnett, a 36-year-old Paul Pierce, and a 33-year-old Jason Terry.

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After two years, the Nets spectacularly fell off turning those first-round picks they traded to the Celtics into high lottery picks.

The Nets were in basketball purgatory until last season where they made the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Despite being bounced out in five games in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers, there was a cause for optimism in Brooklyn. A young talented core emerged in the case of D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen along with the lethal sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie.

Brooklyn took things to the next level this summer. They’ve managed to snare Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (and DeAndre Jordan) from the snatches of the Knicks to bring high-level basketball back to New York. Durant’s Achilles injury likely means he won’t be available for the 2019-20 season, but Kyrie and Jordan make the D’Angelo Russell-less Nets a credible threat in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets can expect exciting basketball once again, but this time in the hands of Jersey-raised Kyrie Irving. Irving epitomizes New York streetball at its finest, with his exciting style of play and crossover abilities. That’s not even mentioning his movie “Uncle Drew” which part of was filmed in Rucker Park.

Nets fans should not be worried about the Kyrie experiment in Boston, where his leadership qualities were questioned and dissected, happening in Brooklyn. The Celtics had to tell Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both high draft picks, that their role was to be minimized after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

The Nets core was either drafted in the latter stages of the first round or the second round. Their roles as role players will not change and compromise the locker room or the positive culture that the Nets have been able to build.

A depleted Eastern Conference caused by the defection of Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers and certain moves at the top of the conference means the crown of the East is fairly up for grabs. The Milwaukee Bucks and the 76ers start the season as the favorites in many’s minds, however, the Nets and the Pacers – through the addition of Malcolm Brogdon – have both gotten better in free agency and can realistically challenge for the higher seeds.

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If there is one worrying situation in Brooklyn, it would be the return of Kevin Durant and how much of his former self he will he look like. No player in NBA history has come back 100 percent from an Achilles injury and Nets fans and true NBA fans globally will hope that Durant comes back with no lasting effect of the injury.