With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant not playing in the NBA restart taking place in Orlando, many fans and players knew the Nets would have to depend on Spencer Dinwiddie. Turns out, Dinwiddie also won't be playing! What will the Nets do?
At the beginning of the announced NBA bubble, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant dropped out due to what they called "injury". Kevin Durant was injured all season and many fans thought he would be able to play in the restart and play in a Nets uniform for the first time. Everyone thought that Durant would have the biggest impact in Orlando out of any other player but he obviously won't as he will not be in Orlando. Durant decided to not play because he recently contracted Covid-19 even though he is fully healthy, but also because he hasn't played a game all season due to injury.
Like Durant, Kyrie Irving won't travel with the team to Orlando. Reason 1 is because Irving has dealt with injuries this season. Reason 2 is because Irving wants to voice his opinions on the George Floyd death. Lastly, Irving hates the idea of the NBA bubble.
Irving stated, “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls***. Something smells a little fishy."
A few weeks after Durant and Irving announced they won't play, Dinwiddie tested positive for the coronavirus on the date of June 29. Even though this was not planned, the Nets organization didn't panic as they hoped he would be healthy before the travel date of July 7. Now, the Nets should panic as Dinwiddie's doctor announced that he wouldn't play in the restart out of an abundance of caution. This season, Dinwiddie averaged a career-high of 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He was also the team’s second-leading scorer and leader in assists. Here is what Dinwiddie had to say.
THIS IS NOT IT! The Nets also lost DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton, Taurean Prince and Wilson Chandler, who won't be playing because they either tested positive for Covid-19, or because they opted out.
Isaac Edelman covers the South Florida sports teams and the Mets as well as other breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
Who Will The Nets Depend On?
The main 2 players that will have a huge impact on the Nets will be Caris LeVert and Joe Harris! LeVert was a starter for the Nets this year but will definitely contribute much more to the Nets. Joe Harris who is one of the best sharp shooters in the league will probably be a starter and also play a huge impact. Harris who was shooting 3s at a 41.2 percent clip before the layoff, won the 3 point contest in 2018. A notable player that could also have a big impact will be Jarett Allen. Allen has been the starting center for the Nets most of the season, should maintain his production. Allen should see more minutes as DeAndre Jordon won't be playing.
Obviously the Nets have added other players to their roster to replace the injured/opted out players. During the break, the Nets signed free agent Justin Anderson. Anderson was the 21st pick in the 2015 draft and has spent time on a boat load of teams. The Nets also signed guard Tyler Johnson after the Phoenix Suns released him. Johnson’s path to Brooklyn was, in some ways, serendipitous. Four years ago, the Nets offered him a four-year, $50 million deal in an effort to pluck him from the Miami Heat, where he was an emerging combo-guard role player for the Miami Heat. Even at the time, the deal was seen as an overpayment, and yet, the Heat matched the offer to keep him in Miami. Johnson should show something and prove himself to be NBA worthy on the Nets.
The Nets can still sign more players to help out as they have three roster spots available to sign substitute players for the restart. Here are a list of some players available for the Nets!
As it stands, the Nets are the 7th seed in the East. The Nets will probably be passed by the Magic for the 7th seed, but I still think they will beat out the Wizards for the 8th seed. The Nets are now in the bubble and if everything goes like planed, no other Nets players will get Covid! It is too late for players to opt out so we know what the Nets team will look like. All Nets fans can hope for is for players such as LeVert and Harris to step up and carry the Nets. The Nets start playing on July 30, which will be the first game out of the 8 games teams will play to get into the playoffs.
Don't be that worried Nets fans! The Wizards won't be any better than the Nets and wont take the 8th seed from the Nets. The Wizards don't have John Wall who hasn't played a game this season and they don't have Bradley Beal, their star player who has opted out.