2021 Brooklyn Nets Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Kyrie Irving||11||Bruce Brown||1||Spencer Dinwiddie*||26|
|Shooting Guard||James Harden||13||Landry Shamet||13||Tyler Johnson||10|
|Small Forward||Joe Harris||12||Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot||9|
|Power Forward||Kevin Durant||7||Jeff Green||8||Blake Griffin||2|
|Center||DeAndre Jordan||6||Nicolas Claxton||33||LaMarcus Aldridge||21|
The Brooklyn Nets may have spent the past few seasons in the doldrums of the Eastern Conference, and they have been a verbal punching bag for both the media and fans, but after a successful offseason, they are poised to improve and have a bright outlook for the future. With most of the mistakes from the Billy King regime, particularly the Celtics trade in 2013, now cleaned up, the Nets front office and Sean Marks have spent the past couple of offseasons taking on salary dumps from other teams and acquiring veterans to help transition the youth of the team into the future. They did that once again this season, and had arguably their best offseason in years, by taking on the salaries of Dwight Howard (since released), Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur. They also re-signed Joe Harris and added Ed Davis, Treveon Graham, Jared Dudley and Shabazz Napier through free agency. The Nets may struggle to improve on their 28-54 record from last season but head coach Kenny Atkinson is focused on developing the young core and pushing for their first playoff appearance since the 2014-15 season.
D’Angelo Russell will return from an injury-riddled season to lead the team at point guard but Kenny Atkinson has plenty of other options at the position should he want to get creative with his lineups. Russell only appeared in 48 games for the Nets last season but averaged 15.5 points and 5.2 assists per game in that time. If Russell struggles to stay healthy or is better-suited playing alongside another creator, Spencer Dinwiddie can step in and take over the offense for Atkinson. Dinwiddie was fantastic for the Nets last season and started 58 of the 80 games he appeared in for them. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 assists per game last season and efficient in leading the Nets offense. The newly acquired Shabazz Napier will soak up the remainder of minutes behind Russell and Dinwiddie and is coming off a solid season with the Trail Blazers.
Things get a little bit crowded when we move to the shooting guard position as the Nets are incredibly deep at the position. Not only can D’Angelo Russell slide over to the two, something he has done in the past, but they also have Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert and Joe Harris that can play the position for them. Crabbe is the likely starter in this spot but could be challenged by LeVert if he can stay healthy this season. Crabbe struggled at the start of last season but ended the year on a high note and averaged 13.2 points on 40.7 percent shooting and 37.8 percent from beyond-the-arc. He gives the Nets some much needed three-point shooting, so his role is moderately secure if he can continue to improve that aspect of his game. LeVert played a lot of time as the backup point guard last season, a role he could take on again this season as well, and did an excellent job as the year progressed developing his shot and ability to run the offense effectively. Joe Harris could see some minutes behind LeVert and Crabbe, as well, or he could spend the majority of his time behind DeMarre Carroll.
Carroll was one of the few Nets to appear in more than 70 games last season and was a steady veteran mentor both on and off the court for the young team. He will once again take on the role as the team’s starting small forward and will need to play a decent number of minutes with depth at the position being a little bit of an issue. Brooklyn can use Joe Harris and Caris LeVert behind Carroll if needed and they also have rookies Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs that may see minutes early on in the season. Alongside Carroll, the Nets have Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who is another one of their young core players that has shown steady signs of progress throughout his short career. Veteran big men Ed Davis and Jared Dudley will play behind Hollis-Jefferson and are excellent depth options for the team.
Jarrett Allen is poised for a breakout season after averaging 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. Allen only started in 31 games but proved himself to be a legitimate rim protector that is efficient from the floor and can finish at the rim on offense. Kenneth Faried will be the backup for the Nets and provides a high-energy option off the bench.