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Nets re-sign Griffin, lose Jeff Green, await Dinwiddie sign-and-trade

2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 5: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Round 2, Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 5, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn has the best big three in the NBA: Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. If those guys are healthy, the Nets are the deserving title favorites.

Building out the other 12 guys on the roster is still a work in progress for the Nets, who on the first day of free agency re-signed Blake Griffin but lost the more valuable Jeff Green. Meanwhile, what package of players and picks might return to Brooklyn in a Spencer Dinwiddie sign-and-trade with Washington, remains up in the air, as does the future of Patty Mills (the Nets are in the mix).

The Nets got their man in re-signing Griffin, who played his best basketball in a couple of years after signing with Brooklyn for the final 26 games of last season, averaging 10 points and 4.7 rebounds a game for them — and even dunking a few times. Adrian Wojnarowski broke that news.

Griffin is most likely on a veteran minimum (maybe they gave him the tax-payer mid-level exception of $5.9 million), which is fine with him because the Pistons are still picking up the dinner tab (they will pay him $28.9 million in a buyout, minus whatever pittance the Nets throw Griffin).

The bigger concern is Jeff Green signed with the Denver Nuggets. Green was the best fifth Beatle to the Durant/Harden/Irving/Joe Harris combo — that foursome with Green had a +26.7 net rating last season (granted in a small sample size, but to the eye test that was clear-and-away the Nets best lineup). The loss of Green stings.

Still, it is too early to judge the Nets offseason.

The big move to come is what happens with Spencer Dinwiddie. He seems destined for Washington on a three-year, $60ish million deal, but what will come back to Brooklyn? It could be a big trade exception that can be used to bring in a player later, but there are rumors of them trying to make this a three-team trade that includes the Lakers/Westbrook deal and maybe moves on Kyle Kuzma (who the Nets reportedly do not want). Brooklyn would love to unload DeAndre Jordan and his two years, $19.8 million remaining.

Brooklyn also is in the mix for Patty Mills, who is tearing it up at the Olympics and seems likely to land a tax-payer mid-level exception deal from the Nets or Lakers (unless another team steps up with a larger offer, no reason for Mills to rush the process). Durant may have some recruiting to do during the next Team USA game.

Don’t forget that Durant, Harden, and Irving are all extension eligible and that is expected to happen later this offseason (once Durant is back from Tokyo).

Looming over all of this, Nets owner Joe Tsai said he would pay the luxury tax to win, and Brooklyn is acting like a win-now fearless team, but at what point does even he balk at the price tag?

The big questions are still to be answered with the Nets, but at the least they have locked up Griffin.