The Nets are the hotter New York team by a long shot, and they're garnering interest from a number of players. Brooklyn enters Tuesday 22-23, winning nine of its last 10 home games and showing relentless ambition on the outskirts of the Eastern Conference.
If they seek a busy offseason reaping national attention, the Nets need to pick up a star. Brooklyn PG Spencer Dinwiddie decided to speak up on Monday, dancing on the edge of recruiting nine-time All-Star Kevin Durant.
"Why would I actively recruit arguably the best player in the world to come to our team when he would fill the exact spot that we need and potentially take us from just being an eighth-, seventh-seed or so, to an Eastern Conference championship team? Oh please write this down," Dinwiddie told Stefan Bondy of NY Daily News. "Why would I do that because then I'll get in trouble for tampering?"
NBA players are being extremely cautious when it comes to actively recruiting athletes as the league deters tampering. Dinwiddie was no exception as he tiptoed around the idea of Durant donning a solid black and white Brooklyn jersey.
Brooklyn could sign two max free agents by renouncing the rights to D'Angelo Russell and trading Allen Crabbe in the summer. And the Nets have the salary cap room to give Durant the money he wants.
"I don't see why we wouldn't [be a destination for the stars this summer]. Especially, I guess, at the forward spot," Dinwiddie told the News. "That's where all the big free agents are and our biggest hole is probably at the forward spot. You got Jarrett Allen at the 5. We got [Russell] and Caris at the 1 and the 2. And which spots to fill? The 3 and the 4, right?"
The Nets sent the Celtics to their third straight loss on Monday night with a 109-102 victory. D'Angelo Russell scored 18 of his 34 points in the third quarter and Jarrett Allen added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets.
Brooklyn is proving it can work on all cylinders and if it wants to make a splash, this summer is the time to do it. The upcoming free-agent class features Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Durant, among other players. The Nets' cap space and recent performance has potential to draw intrigue from the types of stars the city needs.