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Paul Millsap to Brooklyn Nets: Does a stacked team like the Nets need a veteran star power?

Former Denver Nuggets, forward Paul Millsap has joined the Brooklyn Nets
Former Denver Nuggets, forward Paul Millsap has joined the Brooklyn Nets
ANALYST

The Brooklyn Nets added veteran forward Paul Millsap to their roster on Thursday. Free agent Millsap, who had spent the last four seasons playing for the Denver Nuggets, was wanted by several title contenders this summer.

He is a four-time All-Star, and brings defensive depth to a Brooklyn Nets side that finished in the bottom half for efficiency in defense last season.

Looking at Paul Millsap's attributes and what he brings to the Brooklyn Nets, let's analyze how he could impact their already stacked roster.


How Paul Millsap could help the Brooklyn Nets

Paul Millsap rises up to the cup for the lay-up attempt.
Paul Millsap rises up to the cup for the lay-up attempt.

Seeing their cross-conference rivals and fellow title-favorites, the LA Lakers, make big moves to change their roster this summer, the Brooklyn Nets have been forced to reinforce their own championship hopes. They brought in Patty Mills as a backup to Kyrie Irving, while regular starters Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown were re-signed.

Despite having three of the best players in NBA history, the Brooklyn Nets still have their shortcomings, particularly in the frontcourt and in defense - both areas Paul Millsap should help improve.

The 36-year-old has had a positive defensive box +/- in all but one of his 15 seasons in the league. He led all players for defensive win shares in the 2015-16 campaign with six; he was voted into the All-Defensive second team that season.

Millsap, an exceedingly frustrating defender for opposition players, has had a defensive rating below 105 on nine occasions. Due to his size and also his versatility, he is able to defend the perimeter while also covering inside on opposition drives to the basket.

His defensive resume is backed up by the fact that in over 1,000 career games, he has averaged 1.3 steals per game and a block.

Millsap will presumably fill Jeff Green's role for the Brooklyn Nets. There was widespread surprise that the Nets didn't make a greater effort to retain Green this summer as he moved to the Denver Nuggets. In effect, the two sides have swapped their veteran power forwards.

While Paul Millsap is not a like-for-like replacement for Green, he scored fewer points last year, and is not as significant a threat from the deep as Green. Millsap is an improvement in defense and on the boards, and certainly makes the loss of Green easier to swallow for Nets fans.

It also means the team has another veteran head in the locker room with experience of deep postseason runs. Millsap has played in three conference finals and multiple seven-game series.

Down the stretch in games is where the Brooklyn Nets could really benefit by having Millsap. For a 15-20 MPG guy like him, the Nets are not expecting much in offense, certainly not with the sharpshooters they already have.

Instead, they are looking for the kind of interior defense Paul Millsap can provide late in games against the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, where he could frustrate the bigger opposition players.

You can never have too many former All-Stars in a team, especially when you have the pedigree and the means to do so. For Paul Millsap, this is a chance for him to win a much-awaited first title, while the Brooklyn Nets' second unit improves defensively and down the stretch.

Edited by Bhargav
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