The Brooklyn Nets continue making big moves.
As if the Nets’ offseason wasn’t eventful enough after their offseason signings of All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they were clearly not done making major moves. That would be because as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported, the Nets have agreed to a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension with their former first-round draft pick Caris Levert. The contract will begin during the 2020-21 season.
The deal also just so happens to land on his birthday.
The final year of his deal in 2022-23 lines up in conjunction with Durant, Irving and DeAndre Jordan — when the aforementioned three will all enter free agency. In other words, the Nets are going all in with this as their core four for the next four seasons.
Caris Levert Bounced Back From Serious Foot Injury
Levert had started off the 2018-19 season as the Nets’ go-to scorer. He scored a career-high 27 points in the season opener before breaking that mark with 28 points in a 107-105 win over the New York Knicks — including the game-winning basket with one second remaining.
After starting out the season averaging 18.4 points per game through the first 14 games of the year, Levert suffered a serious dislocation of his right foot which appeared to be worse at first glance.
Amazingly, Levert was able to return less than three months after the injury and had a breakthrough campaign. The 25-year-old averaged 13.7 points per game in 40 games and 25 starts, establishing himself as a reliable option off of the bench after his injury.
However, it was in the postseason during the Nets’ first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers where Levert really shined. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged a team-leading 21.0 points per game averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest on 49.3 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc — all much higher than his regular season efficiency. His 23 points in Game 1 led to a stunning upset victory over the No. 3-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.
Brooklyn Nets Are Serious Contender Moving Forward
The Nets are a legit contender moving forward — especially when Durant returns from his torn Achilles.
Spencer Dinwiddie — a major component in the Nets’ rebuild last season — explained the cosmic shift that has happened in Brooklyn over recent weeks.
Via Hoops Hype:
“Everyone understands how this shifts what we’re doing. We’re not just a sixth, seventh or eighth seed anymore. We aren’t just a young group trying to improve. We’re trying to put our stamp on the NBA as a whole,” said Dinwiddie.
“I think anytime you’re able to pair two of the most dynamic people in the entire league together, you have a shot at winning a championship. We have that. We also have a really well-established, All-Defensive-Team center in DeAndre Jordan and a bevy of young talent. Really, as long as we mesh and jell together, I don’t see why we can’t compete. I mean, I know that’s exactly why those guys came here. They’re here to win championships. To do that, we need to have chemistry and we need to keep improving every day, but nobody on this team is going out there with anything else in mind. We aren’t trying to be okay; we’re trying to be great.”
With Levert and Dinwiddie locked up to cheap contracts and veterans like Durant, Irving and Jordan locked in until 2023, the sky is the limit for Brooklyn.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi