A young Brooklyn Nets team were among the biggest surprise packages of the 2018-19 NBA season. Despite recording less than 70 combined wins over the previous three seasons, the Nets managed to overcome their shaky early season form to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 42-40 record. While Brooklyn was comfortably eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the franchise used their momentum to lure the All-Star duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency.
The Nets also managed to retain much of its young talent, and are now fully focused on contending. While much of the roster is finalized, the Nets still have a decision to make on the future of Wilson Chandler, who will miss significant time through suspension. So, ahead of the new season, here are three veterans that Brooklyn could bring in to help fuel their title push.
#3 Dante Cunningham
The Nets roster has a reputation for their chemistry on and off the court, and Dante Cunningham would prove a seamless fit having recently spent time with the team. Cunningham spent the second half of the 17-18 season in Brooklyn, averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over 22 appearances before departing in free agency.
The 32-year-old signed with the Spurs after his deal expired, and went on to find a regular spot in Gregg Popovich's rotation. Nevertheless, Cunningham now finds himself without a team, and a return to the Nets on a minimum contract appears to be a good fit.
With little interest from elsewhere, the Nets should have no problem completing a quick move for Cunningham, and he would provide an extra body that would add depth at both forward positions.
#2 Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford turned 39 earlier this year, although there is no doubting that the veteran still has plenty to offer NBA teams. Despite spending last season with the struggling Phoenix Suns, Crawford averaged 7.9 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 rebounds despite playing less than 19 minutes per contest. Crawford's surviving greatness was also on show during the final game of the regular season as he scored 51 points during Phoenix's 120-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Crawford has outlined his intention to play this season, and the veteran could contribute 15-20 minutes from the Nets bench while also offering guidance and support to a young Brooklyn locker room. Crawford himself would jump at the chance to contend for a title at this stage of his career, and there are few better options available for the Nets.
#1 Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has not played in the NBA since his ill-fated 10-game spell with the Houston Rockets came to an end back in November. However, the 35-year-old has outlined his ambition to play for at least one more season and the Nets could benefit from his production off the bench.
While the Nets are yet to declare their interest, multiple reports have claimed that the Brooklyn roster has pushed for the front office to greenlight a move for Anthony. After choosing to sign with the Nets over a host of other NBA teams this summer, both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are believed to have plenty of influence, and it appears that the Nets are still among Melo's most likely destination.
Due to Anthony's desire to return to the league as quickly as possible, personal terms are unlikely to be an obstacle, and the former All-Star could be lining up for the Nets if the bench fails to impress during the opening weeks of the season.