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Why Brooklyn Nets fans shouldn't panic ahead of next season

The Brooklyn Nets had a very disappointing season after entering the campaign as undisputed favourites to take home the franchise's first ever NBA Championship. Surely things can only get better.

Kyrie Irving's refusal to get vaccinated, combined with James Harden's frustration with the team he forced a trade to just a year ago, which ultimately led to him being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers, served as quick catalysts to turn a once-promising season into one that will forever live in infamy.

Don't forget about the fact that Kevin Durant got hurt with a sprained MCL injury, which sidelined him for nearly two months.
During the time Durant was out, the Nets slipped from the top of the Eastern Conference to a play-in spot, as they were unable to dig themselves out of the abyss from there.
Essentially, everything that could've gone wrong for the Nets this past season did go wrong, except for another long-term injury to Durant or Irving.
Fear not, Nets fans. There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Nets heading into next season, especially when you have an all-time great on your roster who doesn't appear ready to slow down any time soon.

Irving future

There has been plenty of speculation that the Nets might let Irving walk in free agency; shall he opt out of the final year of his contract or facilitate a sign-and-trade deal to get the 30-year-old to his preferred destination.
However, it's highly unlikely that the Nets and Irving would sever their relationship, especially given the friendship Irving has with Durant combined with Irving's desire to keep playing on the team he grew up rooting for.

Several people within the Nets' organization also expect Irving to remain and a healthy Ben Simmons to join the team next season, according to NetsDaily.

Ben Simmons boost

Adding a healthy Simmons would go a long way, as he'd immediately provide a defensive boost to a team that struggled on that side of the ball this past season. Simmons could guard multiple positions and stick himself onto the opposing team's best player.
Offensively, Simmons wouldn't even have to worry about shooting the ball, which is a glaring area of weakness in his game. Instead, he can take advantage of open driving lanes created by the gravity of having Durant and Irving as his teammates.

Outlook for next season

It's also worth noting that Joe Harris missed most of last season, as Harris's presence would've gone a long way in helping the Nets to stretch the floor, especially in drive and kick opportunities.
If the Nets can bring back Bruce Brown, Nic Claxton, acclimate Simmons and add another solid defender or two, that should help them patch up their glaring weakness on that side of the ball next season, combined with the offensive firepower the Nets already possess.
This will be a huge offseason for Nets general manager Sean Marks for sure.

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