NBA Projected starting lineup: Brooklyn Nets
Point guard: Spencer Dinwiddie
Shooting Guard: Royce O’Neale
Small Forward: Mikal Bridges
Power Forward: Dorian Finney-Smith
Center: Nic Claxton
This time last year, the Brooklyn Nets had a starting lineup that featured three All-Stars: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. Now their starting lineup is dramatically different following trade deadline deals. Mikal Bridges now is far and away their best player and their best hope at a quick retooling after the Big 3 era ended in failure.
At the moment, a starting lineup of Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale, Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Nic Claxton is a decent lineup but not one that can take them very far in a loaded Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn likely knows that, and they are all but certain to upgrade in some shape or form during the season. Especially with Dinwiddie and O’Neale’s big expiring contracts. They also still have Simmons and his unsightly contract, with $80 million remaining over the next two seasons.
He may be much harder to move, but with all of the picks they received for Durant and Irving, they could entice a team to take him off their hands and exchange for rotation players. Better yet, they could use him to help match salaries in a trade for a star. As a result, the lineup that starts the season for the Nets probably won’t be the only one that ends the season for them.