Excluding forward Cameron Johnson, who will be a restricted free agent in July, the Brooklyn Nets will retain the assets they recouped from the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades heading into next season. In addition to key role players such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Mikal Bridges, the Nets also racked up a plethora of draft picks that could help them land another star.
The next star on the board may be Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown. Brown, a two-time All-Star, signed a 4-year/$106 million deal with Boston in 2020, which expires after next season. The uncertainty surrounding his future opens a path for the Nets to make a trade for Brown or sign him as a free agent. But Brian Lewis of the New York Post says that Brown’s feelings about Nets owner Joe Tsai could ruin their chances of signing him.
“One of the few stars linked to the Nets during their recent drama – and one that could become available this summer or next – doesn’t sound like he’d be that open to a recruiting pitch. Boston’s Jaylen Brown has been a vocal critic of Nets owner Joe Tsai in the past,” Lewis writes.
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Jaylen Brown Slams Nets for ‘Inappropriate’ Handling of Kyrie Irving
Brown is often outspoken about anything he takes issue with. One thing he has been especially vocal about is the Nets’ handling of Kyrie Irving.
Irving was suspended by the franchise in October after he shared the link to an anti-Semitic film on his Twitter account. As part of his suspension, Tsai compiled a list of tasks the star point guard was required to complete before he was allowed to rejoin the team. And when that list of tasks was made available for public consumption, it rubbed Brown the wrong way.
“That’s my job as vice president of the union, the union is supposed to be an entity to protect the players, especially their rights and their freedom of speech. I feel like what the Brooklyn Nets did — I still feel the same way — it was inappropriate,” Brown said to The Ringer.
“I think it was like a public ransom note almost, in a sense, where he had a list of demands he had to do to return to the game. It was a violation of our CBA. It’s a violation of our agreement and kind of got looked over like it was nothing.”
Kyrie Irving Felt ‘Disrespected’ by Nets
When Irving returned from suspension, everything seemed to fall into place for the Nets. They went on a 12-game win streak and looked like legit contenders for the NBA title. But Irving was still playing on an expiring contract, and he and the Nets could not agree to the terms of an extension. After missing so many games for Brooklyn since his arrival in 2019, Tsai and general manager Sean Marks were unwilling to commit to him long-term.
When the Nets came to Irving with an offer contingent on him winning a title, that seemed to be the final straw, and he demanded a trade out of town. Following his departure, Irving said multiple infractions occurred in Brooklyn that made him feel “disrespected” by the Nets.
“I just know I want to be a place where I’m celebrated, and not just tolerated or kind of dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Irving said during his introductory press conference on February 7.
“There were times throughout this process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected; and my talent, I work extremely hard at what I do, no one ever talks about my work ethic though. Everyone talks about what I’m doing off the floor, I just want to change that narrative and write my own story,” Irving said during his introductory press conference.”