Will there be ripple effects around the NBA if the Brooklyn Nets lock up their big 3?
If it hadn’t been for injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the playoffs, there’s a good chance that the Brooklyn Nets would be NBA champions right now. There are no ifs, ands, or buts, though, and the Milwaukee Bucks are your current NBA champions.
Regardless, heading into next season, the Nets are expected to be a heavy favorite to win the 2022 NBA title. Once again, assuming health, especially with as explosive as the team looked in year 1 of their incarnation, it would actually be surprising if Brooklyn didn’t make it at least to the NBA Finals.
That’s how talented this team looked when they were fully healthy. And not just on the offensive end either. When the postseason lights hit, the Nets, when healthy, were actually playing much better defense.
The scary part is, the Nets are just getting started. And I’m not sure if there’s any more indication of that than the contract extension that Kevin Durant just signed.
Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension with the Nets and the hope is that Harden and Kyrie are next.
Assuming that the Nets are able to lock up Kyrie and Harden, after doing the same for Durant, I couldn’t help but think of the possible ripple effects that such a move could have on the rest of the league.
The Brooklyn Nets are about to run the Eastern Conference
It was one thing before we even saw this team take the floor as a complete unit. Now that we know these pieces fit together and that they’re extremely good when healthy, it could throw a huge wrench in the rest of the league.
Assuming that Harden and Kyrie take extensions, this is no longer a one or two-year experiment. Extensions from the big 3 mean that this core will likely be together for the next 4-5 years. In NBA years, that’s a long time.
That means we’re going to get a half-decade of dominance from the Nets if they can stay healthy. And, I know, that’s a big “if.” After all, this is a team that couldn’t even stay healthy during year 1. On the other hand, this is a team that couldn’t even stay healthy in year 1 and was inches away from beating the eventual NBA champions with two of their all-stars sidelined with injuries.
The Nets have the potential to be absolutely overwhelming and are only going to get better with more time and reps. It’ll be interesting to see what the fallout is around the rest of the league after these extensions become official.
There’s a good chance that in five years, we could look back at the Nets after winning three of four championships.