Brooklyn Nets Season Preview: Roster Breakdown

Taking a run through the roster as the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets season gets ready to tip-off. Roll over each individual player bar and click to select their profile.


LAST SEASON: 11.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 64.9 FG%

Quick reminder: If Jarrett Allen had stuck around Austin, Texas for four seasons, he’d have been in the 2020 NBA Draft, now prepping for his rookie season. Instead, Allen has 175 NBA starts and 222 pro games on his resume at 22 years old. His third NBA season had its swings last year, with some impressive peaks. When the Nets lost Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert early in the season, Allen helped keep Brooklyn afloat by averaging 14.8 points and 11.8 rebounds over an 18-game stretch into late December. He found another level in Orlando over the summer, returning to the starting lineup after being moved to the second unit just before the NBA season was suspended in March. Allen averaged 13.7 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists over 10 games in Orlando, looking more aggressive and assertive with the ball on the perimeter. It all added up to career highs of 11.1 points and 9.6 rebounds, with a 64.9 field goal percentage that was second in the NBA. His 8.2 win shares were also 14th in the league, and the most among Nets players.

BRUCE BROWN • GUARD • 6-4 • 202

LAST SEASON: 8.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.0 APG

On a team where the offensive options run deep, Bruce Brown’s strength lies on the defensive side of the ball. The third-year guard arrived from Detroit in a draft-week trade after starting for most of his first two seasons with the Pistons. A second-round pick in 2018 — two spots after the Nets selected Rodions Kurucs — Brown graded out as the strongest guard in that year’s draft class at the NBA combine, and his physicality, length, and aggressiveness made him a defensive presence who earned a role. He and Kurucs have been the two most impactful second rounders taken in that draft. His offensive game is developing, and on this roster, the Nets don’t need Brown to score, but he’ll be battling for playing time with those that do.

CHRIS CHIOZZA • GUARD • 5-11 • 176


Signed to a two-way contract in January, Chris Chiozza made an impact when opportunity came his way in March. Speedy, sharp, and aggressive, Chiozza impressed in a comeback win against Boston, the famed Caris LeVert 51-point game, and stuck in the rotation until the season was suspended a week later. But with the resumption of the season on the NBA Campus in Orlando and restrictions lifted on two-way players, Chiozza played a significant role for a shorthanded Nets squad that won five of eight seeding round games to clinch a playoff spot. He’s back on a two-way deal again, giving the Nets quality depth at point guard.


LAST SEASON: 4.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 56.3 FG%

For a rookie season that added up to 15 games played at 12.5 minutes per, Nic Claxton made a pretty strong first impression. Claxton’s athleticism, energy, and motor were unmistakable, and unmissable. But there just wasn’t going to be much opportunity for a rookie big man with centers Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan in front of him. Claxton made his NBA debut in a game where Jordan was sidelined with an ankle injury, and showed enough bounce with eight points and six rebounds in 12 minutes that he stuck in the rotation for another 10 days even after Jordan came back, with the Nets experimenting with him at forward just to find minutes for him. The explosive lefty showed a knack for crashing the boards and finishing in a crowd. He saw time in the G League as well, averaging 16.7 points and shooting 65.9 percent in nine games with Long Island.



Two seasons after he was a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, Spencer Dinwiddie continued to trend upward last season. With Kyrie Irving limited to 20 games and Caris LeVert missing 24 straight games from November to January, Dinwiddie thrived in a leading role. Over four seasons in Brooklyn, Dinwiddie’s scoring average has risen from 7.3 points to 12.6 in his Most Improved Player finalist season, then 16.8 and now a career-high 20.6 in 2019-20, along with a career-high 6.8 assists per game. The ability to get to the rim has fueled Dinwiddie’s rise; last season he was ninth in the league with 17.1 drives per game and 10th with 10.5 drive points per game, drawing enough fouls on those attempts to rank 13th in the NBA in free throws both attempted and made. The return of Irving and Kevin Durant this season will push Dinwiddie back into a secondary role, but even in a reserve role two seasons ago, Dinwiddie was second in the league in both points and assists off the bench behind Sixth Man of the Year award winner Lou Williams.


2018-19: 26.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.9 APG, 52.1 FG%

And … here … we … go. It’s finally KD time in Brooklyn. The man with the sixth-highest scoring average in NBA history will make his Nets debut after missing the 2019-20 season with an Achilles’ injury. A nine-time All-NBA pick, 10-time All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and the 2014 NBA MVP, Durant’s arrival makes the Nets an NBA championship contender, and the presence of a scorer of his magnitude will transform what this team looks like on the floor. Such is the power of a 6-foot-10 career 38.1 percent 3-point shooter who’s also shot over 50 percent overall in each of his last seven seasons. Durant can essentially do anything, and coach Steve Nash has said that’s what he has in mind with a vision to play Durant at all five positions.

JEFF GREEN • FORWARD • 6-8 • 235


Veteran forward Jeff Green found a new niche playing some small-ball 5 for the Houston Rockets last season, and that was part of what made him a nice fit as the Nets sought some frontcourt depth. Green shot 54.6 percent overall and 35.4 percent from 3-point range while averaging a career-high 2.7 assists per 36 minutes after hooking on with the Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni late in the season, and D’Antoni is here now in Brooklyn as well as an assistant coach. It’s the 13th NBA season and 10th team for Green, who came into the league as a rookie teammate of Kevin Durant in Seattle after being selected fifth overall in 2007.


LAST SEASON: 14.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 42.4 3PT%

After a season as the NBA’s 3-point king, winning the 3-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend and then going on to lead the league in 3-point percentage, Joe Harris continued to push his overall game to new heights last season, with career highs of 14.5 points and 4.3 rebounds, plus 2.1 assists. It was the third straight season that Harris shot over 40 percent from 3-point range and finished in the league’s top 10 in the category. It was in Harris’ second season in Brooklyn that he began to show an ability to punish closeouts with drives to the rim, and he’s continued to refine that aspect each season. The presence of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on a full-time basis should expand catch-and-shoot opportunities for Harris, although he managed just fine in a lead role in Orlando last summer, averaging 19.1 points while shooting 59.8 percent overall and 55.1 percent from 3-point range over eight games.

KYRIE IRVING • GUARD • 6-2 • 195

LAST SEASON: 27.4 PPG, 6.4 APG, 1.4 SPG

The last time Nets fans saw Kyrie Irving play at Barclays Center, Irving pretty much threw a perfect game. He didn’t miss a shot at all in the first half, and in scoring 54 points he shot 19-of-23 — including 7-of-9 from 3-point range — for an 82.6 field goal percentage that was the highest in a 50-point game since Michael Jordan in 1988. It was Irving’s second 50-point game of his debut Nets season, which ended the next night after 20 games and a 27.4 points-per-game scoring average, the highest rate of Irving’s career. The brilliant-but-brief show built anticipation for Irving’s return and pairing with Kevin Durant. When the two last played a full season in 2018-19, both were named to the All-NBA Second Team. With Durant in the fold, Irving’s career-high usage rate of 32.6 last season will likely come down, but expect dynamic results from a guard with a career scoring average of 22.4 points per game who has shot 39.0 percent from 3-point range over nine seasons.



The Nets added five players to the roster for the NBA restart over the summer. Would any of them be back for 2020-21? The answer is yes, with Tyler Johnson. After being waived by Phoenix last season, the combo guard has found a fresh start with the Nets, who originally signed him to an offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent in the summer of 2016. In Orlando, Johnson was Brooklyn’s fifth-leading scorer while averaging 12.0 points over eight seeding rounds games, and ultimately shot 39.0 percent over all 12 games in Orlando including the playoffs. Johnson’s return stretches out Brooklyn’s guard depth with a player who fits the Nets’ versatile player profile: he can shoot it from 3, create shots, and handle the point in a pinch.


LAST SEASON: 8.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 66.6 FG%

Just before everything stopped last March, DeAndre Jordan moved into Brooklyn’s starting lineup at center. A full-time starter for each of the previous nine seasons, Jordan had mostly come off the bench in his first few months with the Nets, aside from a handful of early season starts. But he had increasingly played a bigger fourth-quarter role as the season went on, and he gave the Nets a more physical presence at center. With the coaching staff turnover, it remains to be seen if the Nets will go with Jordan or Jarrett Allen as the starter. In his 12th NBA season, Jordan delivered what was expected as a finisher and rebounder. While Jordan didn’t have the required made field goals made to qualify for the league leaders, his 66.6 field goal percentage was Brooklyn’s highest and his best since he led the league for the fifth straight year in 2016-17. He also led the Nets with 10.0 rebounds per game and was fourth in the NBA in rebound percentage (20.2).



Rodions Kurucs wrapped up the 2019-20 season with a bit of revival, but on a very different roster than the one that will take the court for 2020-21. The sophomore season for the forward was a challenge, with a slow start that left him in the G League for a spell and fighting for minutes the rest of the way. But with DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton out of the NBA restart in Orlando, Kurucs became Brooklyn’s small-ball center, where his improved 3-point shooting gave the Nets a new element from the 5. Kurucs shot 36.7 percent from deep last season, a jump from the 31.5 percent he shot as a rookie, when he first made an impression with his high-motor and athleticism. On the deepest Nets team of his three-year career, Kurucs will have to keep improving that 3-point range to carve out a role as a 3-and-D big.

CARIS LEVERT • GUARD • 6-6 • 205

LAST SEASON: 18.7 PPG, 4.4 APG, 4.2 RPG

Brooklyn’s 2019-20 season ended with a Caris LeVert takeover, as the fourth-year swingman who has progressed each year found a new peak. Over his final 22 games, starting in February and carrying over into the NBA restart in Orlando, LeVert averaged 24.3 points, 5.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45.6 percent overall and 37.8 percent from 3-point range. That was all without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the court, and without Spencer Dinwiddie as well in Orlando. LeVert won’t have that same lead role in 2020-21, but he’ll benefit from sharing the court with two of the NBA’s top offensive players and give the Nets a dynamic third option, potentially getting additional room to operate coming off the bench to lead the second unit.



If Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot continues to shoot 3-pointers the way he did last season, he’ll be a significant and valuable bench piece. A first-round pick in 2016, TLC began his fourth pro season on a two-way deal with his fourth team. By midseason, he had played his way into a full roster spot with the Nets, and went on to play a major role in Orlando. He shot 38.8 percent from 3-point range, well above his previous career high of 33.5 percent from the 2017-18 season. At 6-foot-7, TLC is a versatile, switchable wing who played significant minutes at the 4.



The Nets have liked what they found with the 57th pick in the draft. Perry was projected by several mock drafts to go in the top half of the second round, but the Nets nabbed him as part of the three-team trade with Detroit and Pistons that exchanged the 55th pick for Perry, officially drafted by the Clippers two spots later. They like what they’ve seen so far from Perry, who’s physical at 250 pounds, but also mobile and skilled with the ball. Steve Nash gave Perry early minutes in the preseason opener, and liked his ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays. So last season’s SEC Co-Player of the Year sticks with Brooklyn on a two-way deal. Regular season minutes may be hard to come by on a deep roster with championship aspirations, but the Nets now have two interesting young big man prospects with Perry and Nic Claxton.



After starting 61 of 64 games in his first season as a Net, Prince will likely slide into a reserve role with the return of Kevin Durant. Prince gives Brooklyn a forward off the bench who can slide between the 3 and the 4, though he played primarily the 4 in his first season with the Nets, averaging a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game. His 3-point shooting dipped from a career-high 39.0 percent in 2018-19 to 33.9 percent last season as he led Brooklyn in 3-pointers attempted. A return to form there — Prince also shot 38.5 percent in 2017-18 — will make Prince a valuable second-unit piece.



If job one of building an offense around dynamic scorers and playmakers like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is putting shooters on the floor to keep the defense spread out and knock out down catch-and-shoot opportunities, the Nets made a golden offseason addition with Landry Shamet. The third-year guard has a career 40.2 3-point shooting percentage and, beyond that, GM Sean Marks likes the way he’s been thrown into the fire early in his NBA career, with two playoff runs with the Clippers on his resume. Shamet can give the second unit a similar shooting presence and gravity that Joe Harris brings to the starters, and playing the two together at times can really keep the floor wide open.