The 2022-23 season has been quite a decade for the Brooklyn Nets–and we’re not even at the All-Star break. Their odds over the past few months dictate the roller-coaster aspect of their campaign.
A franchise that had a stacked roster and was trending up just six weeks ago has now been blown up after the trades of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
It’s a disappointing ending for a team that had championship hopes over the past few years but never even reached an Eastern Conference Finals with their arsenal of stars.
We will evaluate how what’s left of the Brooklyn Nets stacks up in futures odds for the NBA championship and within the East, but first, let’s see how we got to this point.
High Hopes for Nets Going Into 2021-22
Going into the 2021 NBA playoffs, the Nets had Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and newly acquired James Harden at head coach Steve Nash’s disposal and earned the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference. After handling Boston in five games in the first round, the Nets had a showdown with 3-seed Milwaukee.
The series went to a seventh game, which was in Brooklyn. Looking back, it was Durant’s finest moment as a Net. He scored 48 points, including this clutch bucket to send the game into overtime.
However, Bucks prevailed in the end, 115-111. It was the biggest challenge Milwaukee faced on their run to the NBA title last year, so conventional wisdom stated that the Nets were right there even though they didn’t make it out of the second round.
There Was No Encore for Brooklyn
The Nets’ 2021-22 season was not what they hoped. Harden wanted to be traded and was–to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons, who didn’t play at all for Brooklyn last season due to a back injury. Irving missed most of the team’s home games over his stance on not wanting to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Durant played just 55 of the 82 games due to various injuries.
Irving and Durant were back in the lineup when they played Boston again in the first round. This time, though, the Celtics were the 2-seed and the Nets were seeded seventh. The largest margin of victory for Boston was seven points, but the C’s swept the Nets in four-straight games.
This Nets Era Ends in 2023
We detailed the rocky start to Brooklyn’s season here. It included the “mutual parting of ways” with head coach Steve Nash, the unexpected rise of new coach Jacque Vaughn, Kyrie Irving’s suspension, and the Nets catching fire after he returned.
Much like this entire Nets era, the success was short-lived. Durant suffered an MCL sprain on Jan. 8 and isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break. Since that point, Irving requested a trade and was granted one to Dallas. Durant was then somewhat-shockingly dealt to Phoenix on Wednesday.
What’s Left for the Nets and Brooklyn’s Futures Odds
The Brooklyn Nets’ started with preseason odds ‘ odds of winning the NBA championship in the preseason stood at +700. After a slow start, they dropped to +1500. Even as a winning December but them within striking distance of Boston, the odds never really moved significantly higher than +1500.
If you like value in your futures odds longshots, the Brooklyn Nets are +16000 at FanDuel.
The Nets are left with Simmons along with new acquisitions Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four first-round draft picks that came courtesy of the Suns. The future seems bright.
But what about the rest of the 2022-23 season?
Brooklyn is 5-5 in its last 10 games and won their first game post-trade on Thursday–a 116-105 victory over Chicago with Dinwiddie leading the way with 25 points.
The question now remains as to whether this team will have a chip on its shoulder. Can they compete with the upper echelon in the East.? The Nets are currently in the 5-seed, seven games ahead of 10-seed Toronto, who is currently in the final spot for the play-in tournament.
With just 27 games remaining for Brooklyn, they look to be a lock to at least make the play-in tournament. It will be worth watching how this team gels and responds in the final two months of the regular season.