Contenders or Pretenders? Figuring out where the Brooklyn Nets stand

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Despite the seemingly endless stream of negative headlines surrounding the Brooklyn Nets trio of stars, the team is as talented as any in the NBA. Kevin Durant, even at age 33, is still among the premier scorers in the NBA. In fact, Durant is now top-20 all-time in scoring, having amassed more than 25,000 points. His Teammate Kyrie Irving is both volatile on and off the court but also incredibly talented.

He missed most of last season due to the vaccine mandate but is still in his prime and is capable of dropping 50 in any game. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons is among the most uniquely talented players in the NBA despite hurting his reputation with the season-long drama that followed him from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Brooklyn Nets.

At any moment, Durant could demand another trade, Irving could get injured or decide to sit out for some reason, and Simmons could forget how to play basketball. Still, this team, if everything goes right, could be a real problem in the Eastern Conference, but they have gotten off to a sluggish start. That’s led to legitimate questions about whether they’re indeed contenders or, perhaps, just pretenders. Let’s take a closer look and try to answer that burning question.