Nets Rumors

And-Ones: Nurse, Carmelo, Luxury Tax, First-Round Picks

Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is considering his options after reportedly taking his name out of the Bucks’ coaching search, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nurse had interviews this week with the Sixers and Suns, and sources tell Pompey that he’s reviewing the jobs to determine which would be the best fit. A source refused to confirm to Pompey that Philadelphia has made a formal offer.

Pompey points out that Nurse has a long-time working relationship with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, whom he worked with in Houston as head coach of the Rockets’ G League affiliate. Nurse built a reputation for developing talent during that time, winning two G League titles and sending 23 players to the NBA, Pompey adds.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Before announcing his retirement this week, Carmelo Anthony received interest from a “high-level” European team, Marc Stein writes in a Substack column. However, Anthony decided he didn’t want to play in another league after spending 19 years in the NBA.
  • Nine teams finished the season in tax territory, Eric Pincus reveals in his updated luxury tax tracker on Sports Business Classroom. The Clippers had the highest team salary at $191,189,228 and will be assessed a $140,302,811 tax bill. The largest tax payment is $163,153,075 for the Warriors, who had $188,371,492 in salary. The Celtics, Nets, Mavericks, Nuggets, Lakers, Bucks and Suns are the other taxpaying teams. The other 21 franchises will receive about $15MM each through the tax, Pincus tweets.
  • NBA fans are anticipating an active summer trade market, but it could be limited by teams that have reduced their options due to past moves, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger notes that nine teams already owe unprotected future first-round picks, and others have lightly protected first-rounders on the move. Some executives at the draft combine suggested to Hollinger that front offices may become less likely to give up multiple first-rounders in the future, even when star players become available. Hollinger identifies the Hawks, Nets, Mavericks, Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves and Suns as teams that could be considered “stuck.”

New York Notes: Bridges, Lillard, Toppin, Brunson

Mikal Bridges has already been mentioned in several offseason trade rumors, but Brian Lewis of The New York Post believes the Nets intend to build around him rather than trying to deal him for other assets. Lewis states that Bridges has already become “the face of the franchise” and has strong support from owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks.

Bridges posted career-best numbers after being acquired from Phoenix in February, averaging 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 27 games. He also emerged as a locker room leader and quickly won over Brooklyn fans with his style of play. He has a team-friendly contract that runs for three more seasons.

“I think he’s proven to a lot of people that his role can continue to get better and better and bigger and bigger,” Marks said. “But now that when the ball is in his hands in those key crucial moments of games, can he step up? Can he be that guy that we can rely on in big moments? I think we saw it a little bit in Phoenix when Devin Booker was out. He carried a considerable load for them. And then we saw this year where he came in and immediately was a crowd favorite.”

There’s more from New York:

  • The Nets have “genuine interest” in Damian Lillard if he asks the Trail Blazers for a trade, Lewis adds in another Post story. Lewis examines the various factors surrounding a potential Lillard trade, including his age, his contract, which will reach $63.2MM in 2026/27, and what Brooklyn would have to send to Portland in return. Lewis doesn’t expect Nets management to part with Bridges, so the deal would have to be built around Nic Claxton, with Spencer Dinwiddie and Royce O’Neale thrown in for salary matching or possibly Ben Simmons if Brooklyn can include enough other pieces to convince the Blazers to take on his contract.
  • Obi Toppin was the first lottery pick made by the Knicks‘ current management team, but his time in New York could end this summer, suggests Steve Popper of Newsday. Toppin has been stuck behind Julius Randle, which has prevented him from getting the playing time he needs to develop his game. Popper adds that although Toppin averaged 21.8 PPG in the five starts he made this season, he doesn’t provide the defensive presence that coach Tom Thibodeau wants at power forward.
  • In a mailbag column, Fred Katz of The Athletic rates the Knicks‘ addition of Jalen Brunson last summer as the NBA’s best free agent signing since 2019.

2023 NBA Draft Picks By Team

Two of the biggest winners on draft lottery night last week were the Hornets and Pacers. Charlotte moved up two spots from the pre-lottery standings to claim the No. 2 overall pick. The Pacers, meanwhile, stayed put in the lottery, but because San Antonio leapfrogged Houston in the first round, Indiana moved up 18 spots from No. 50 to No. 32 in the second round due to a convoluted set of trade criteria.

The Hornets and Pacers have something else in common: Charlotte and Indiana are the only teams that control more than three picks in the 2023 NBA draft. In fact, the two clubs own five selections apiece, accounting for 10 of the 58 total picks in this year’s event.

Nine additional teams each have three 2023 picks, joining the Hornets and Pacers to control nearly two-thirds of the draft — those 11 teams hold 37 of this year’s 58 picks, leaving the other 19 clubs to divvy up the remaining 21 selections.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, three teams don’t own any 2023 draft picks. The Bulls, Knicks, and Sixers will sit out this year’s event unless they acquire a pick via trade.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2023 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 58 selections by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Charlotte Hornets (5): 2, 27, 34, 39, 41
  • Indiana Pacers (5): 7, 26, 29, 32, 55
  • San Antonio Spurs (3): 1, 33, 44
  • Portland Trail Blazers (3): 3, 23, 43
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 11, 36
  • Washington Wizards (3): 8, 42, 57
  • Utah Jazz (3): 9, 16, 28
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (3): 12, 37, 50
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 21, 22, 51
  • Sacramento Kings (3): 24, 38, 54
  • Memphis Grizzlies (3): 25, 45, 56

Teams with two picks:

  • Houston Rockets: 4, 20
  • Detroit Pistons: 5, 31
  • Atlanta Hawks: 15, 46
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 17, 47
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 30, 48

Teams with one pick:

  • Dallas Mavericks: 10
  • Toronto Raptors: 13
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 14
  • Miami Heat: 18
  • Golden State Warriors: 19
  • Boston Celtics: 35
  • Denver Nuggets: 40
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 49
  • Phoenix Suns: 52
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 53
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 58

Teams with no picks:

  • Chicago Bulls
  • New York Knicks
  • Philadelphia 76ers

Bruce Brown Says Nets Management Wanted To Re-Sign Him

  • As Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily relays, Nuggets guard Bruce Brown suggested during an appearance on The Dan LeBatard Show that the Nets‘ front office was interested in re-signing him last summer, but declined to go into details on why things didn’t work out. “I don’t know who made the decision, but I just know the front office wanted me back,” Brown said, spurring speculation that either Nets owner Joe Tsai or one or both of Brooklyn’s then-stars (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) played a part in Brown’s exit.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Nets, Niang, Celtics

Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was a recent guest on ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas’ podcast Gil’s Arena, and told Arenas that he was very much looking forward to his future in Brooklyn.

“I’m super excited,” Dinwiddie said (hat tip to Nets Daily for the transcript). “I’ve been with the Nets six years out of my nine, roughly. I’ve been there for many different forms of the Nets, from when we were kind of the young upstarts — [D’Angelo Russell] and stuff. Then we had the max guys — [Kevin Durant] and Kyrie [Irving]… but now kind of like a more mature, kind of a ready-to-win core that probably needs a guy but probably within that range.”

Dinwiddie is owed $18.9MM through the 2023/24 season. The vet will hit unrestricted free agency that summer if he doesn’t ink a veteran extension with Brooklyn next season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets generated an $18.1MM traded player exception from their Durant trade with the Suns. ProfessorB of Nets Daily unpacks how Brooklyn could use its TPE going forward, identifying several intriguing players whose salaries would fit into that exception.
  • Sixers forward Georges Niang wrote his final “diary entry” of the 2022/23 season, as logged by Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, about his impending free agency and the end of Philadelphia’s playoff run. “Obviously, you want to go to a place where you’re appreciated — and I’ve always felt appreciated in Philadelphia,” Niang wrote. “Other than that, I don’t know anything else. The teams that I played on before, where I was appreciated, those teams are totally different now. I’m thankful that the place that I have most recently played appreciates me for who I am and what I stand for and what I can bring to the table. But free agency, stuff happens so quickly. Someone said it best to me: It’s almost like musical chairs. You don’t want to be the one that doesn’t have a chair to sit in.”
  • Conversations the day before the Celtics’ Game 4 win in their ongoing Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat helped galvanize Boston, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Just coming together, talking it out,” All-Star swingman Jaylen Brown in explaining the content of the team’s pregame chats. “And like a lot of times when you get to this point down 3-0, you see locker rooms and teams start to go in the other direction… We wanted to make sure that we looked each other in the eye and came out today and put our best foot forward, and I’m proud of our group for doing that because you see teams with their back against the wall and you see they just collapse.”

Draft Notes: Sanogo, Burton, Hall, Okani, Lottery Picks

UConn big man Adama Sanogo worked out for the Nets earlier this month and has a workout with the Knicks scheduled in June, a source tells Adam Zagoria of (Twitter link).

Sanogo helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA Championship in 2022/23, winning Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. As Zagoria wrote last week for, Sanogo helped himself at the NBA draft combine.

I thought Adama Sanogo was one of the big winners of the NBA combine scrimmages,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said. “He showed there’s a little bit more to his game than you might initially think.

You look at him, you say, ‘OK, he’s not really the most modern big man, he’s a back-to-the basket big, he’s a pick-and-roll finisher, he’s an offensive rebounder. But he made some great passes these past two days, and played with the type of freedom that I didn’t personally expect to see, so I thought he really helped him actually.”

Sanogo was ranked No. 87 on Givony’s big board for ESPN at the end of April, but he has moved up to No. 74, making him a borderline second-round pick.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Tyler Burton, who is a draft early entrant, will enter the transfer portal if he goes back to college, sources tell Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). However, Zagoria hears (via Twitter) that Burton is “leaning heavily” toward going pro and is listed as “do not contact” in the transfer portal. Burton averaged 19.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 1.5 SPG as a senior for Richmond, but has one year of eligibility left.
  • Forward PJ Hall has withdrawn from the draft and will return to Clemson for his senior season, he announced (via Twitter). UIC’s Toby Okani has also withdrawn from the draft, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Okani, a guard/forward, will be a senior for the Flames.
  • What is every projected lottery pick’s biggest weakness? Jonathan Wasserman explores that topic for Bleacher Report, writing that Victor Wembanyama‘s decision-making is his primary demerit. The French phenom is the projected No. 1 overall pick.

2023 NBA Offseason Preview: Brooklyn Nets

When the Nets landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency in 2019, it represented a major step in the club’s transition from plucky upstart to star-studded super-team, a transformation that was completed with the 2021 acquisition of James Harden.

Two years after landing Harden, Brooklyn is out of the super-team business, having traded away Harden in 2022 and Durant and Irving in 2023. The new-look Nets bear some resemblance to the pre-2019 squad — there are a lot of promising pieces on the roster, but little star power, so the upside is limited.

Among Brooklyn’s current players, there are two obvious ceiling raisers whose next steps could go a long way to determining the club’s trajectory. Mikal Bridges, acquired from Phoenix in February’s Durant blockbuster, averaged 26.1 points per game after joining the Nets and has an All-Defensive nod on his résumé. If anyone on the roster is going to be an All-Star next season, it will likely be Bridges.

Of course, the only player on the roster who has already been an All-Star – three times, in fact – is former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, who had a forgettable first full season in Brooklyn. Physical and mental issues, along with an aversion to shooting, have hampered Simmons’ development, but he was one of the NBA’s best passers and defenders while earning three consecutive All-Star berths from 2019-21. The hope is that there’s still some bounce-back potential in 2023/24, when he’ll be another year removed from 2022 back surgery.

Even if Bridges continues to establish himself as a franchise cornerstone and Simmons looks more like his old self next season, the Nets won’t be a legitimate championship contender like they were when Durant, Irving, and Harden played for the team.

But there are solid building blocks in place here, and the vibes in Brooklyn this offseason should be a little more positive than they were a year ago, when Durant asked team ownership to either move him or fire GM Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash, while Irving spent weeks flirting with the idea of leaving the Nets in free agency or via trade.

The Nets’ Offseason Plan:

Re-signing Cameron Johnson in restricted free agency will likely be the Nets’ top priority this offseason. Bridges was the centerpiece of the Durant trade, and some of the future unprotected first-round picks in that deal could become future gems, but Johnson shouldn’t be overlooked as a crucial part of Brooklyn’s return from the Suns. He’s already one of the NBA’s best outside shooters, making 41.6% of 6.0 three-pointers per game over the last two seasons, and he’s not a liability on the defensive end.

Johnson won’t come cheap, but the knee injury that cost him half the 2022/23 season may help keep his price in check, especially if none of the teams with cap room this summer make a serious push for him. Even though Johnson isn’t the two-way dynamo that Bridges is, the Nets should be happy if they can lock up Johnson to a contract identical to Bridges’ rookie scale extension (four years, $90MM). It should age well as the salary cap continues to grow in the coming years.

If the Nets commit to paying Johnson approximately $20MM in 2023/24 and guarantee the remainder of Royce O’Neale‘s $9.5MM salary (which is a lock), their team salary will exceed the projected luxury tax line.

Nets owner Joe Tsai has shown in recent years that he’s willing to spend big, but he’ll be less inclined to pay the tax for this roster than he was for the version headed by Durant, Irving, and Harden, especially with more punitive penalties for taxpaying teams coming in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Simmons, whose $37.9MM salary will be the largest on the payroll by a wide margin, is Brooklyn’s most obvious trade candidate, but moving him this offseason probably isn’t the right play. His value has cratered, so the Nets would be selling low and would almost certainly have to attach draft picks and/or a more valuable player to get anything useful in return for him. Hanging onto Simmons and hoping that he’s healthier and more productive next season is the more prudent path.

In all likelihood, at least one of Brooklyn’s veteran wings will be on the move. Joe Harris ($19.9MM), Dorian Finney-Smith ($13.9MM), and O’Neale ($9.5MM) are part of that group. Of those three, Harris is the most expensive and the weakest defender, so he’ll likely find himself on the trade block. But the Nets would get more in return for Finney-Smith or O’Neale, and losing Harris’ shooting and floor spacing could hurt, with Seth Curry headed for free agency.

In theory, the Nets would like to add more scoring and play-making, as well as more size and rebounding up front, but it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to address those needs directly in a trade involving one or more of their wings. The front office will likely explore many possibilities on the trade market, including three-way frameworks or scenarios in which they flip assets from one trade partner to another in separate deals.

A cost-cutting Brooklyn team with quality rotation players available would, for instance, be a logical trade partner for a Houston club that has cap space and is eager to be more competitive in 2023/24. Perhaps the Nets could dangle O’Neale in an effort to recoup one of the first-round picks they previously traded to the Rockets, then turn around and package a draft pick or two with another player (such as Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, or Patty Mills) in an effort to better balance their roster.

While free agency is another path Brooklyn could look at as it seeks roster upgrades, the team will be well over the cap, and its ability to use its mid-level exception will be compromised as long as its salary remains above or near the tax line. I’d expect the Nets to push to re-sign Johnson and explore what it would take to bring back Curry (especially if Harris is traded), but I wouldn’t count on an impact signing of an outside free agent.

There may be some advocates for the Nets, having traded Durant and Irving earlier this year, to take another step toward a full rebuild by moving more veterans and perhaps securing a huge package of picks and prospects for Bridges. But Brooklyn doesn’t control its own first-round pick for any of the four years from 2024-27 — the Rockets will receive the Nets’ unprotected pick in 2024 and 2026 and have swap rights in ’25 and ’27. So there’s little incentive for the franchise to bottom out.

Instead, I’d expect general manager Sean Marks to focus on making a few tweaks to the roster this offseason, then to prepare for more significant changes in 2024 when several contracts (including Dinwiddie, Harris, O’Neale, and Mills) will come off the books.

Salary Cap Situation

Guaranteed Salary

Dead/Retained Salary

  • None

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • Royce O’Neale ($7,000,000)
    • Note: Partial guarantee. O’Neale’s salary would become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before July 10.
  • Edmond Sumner ($2,239,943)
    • Note: Sumner’s salary would become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before July 6.
  • Total: $9,239,943

Restricted Free Agents

Two-Way Free Agents

Draft Picks

  • No. 21 overall ($3,043,560)
  • No. 22 overall (2,922,000)
  • No. 51 overall (no cap hold)
  • Total: $5,965,560

Extension-Eligible Players

  • Seth Curry (veteran)
  • Spencer Dinwiddie (veteran)
  • Joe Harris (veteran)
  • Royce O’Neale (veteran)
  • Ben Simmons (veteran)

Note: These are players who are either already eligible for an extension or will become eligible before the 2023/24 season begins. Curry is only eligible until June 30.

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Note: The cap holds for Aldridge, Chandler, and James remain on the Nets’ books from prior seasons because they haven’t been renounced. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $12,220,600
  • Bi-annual exception: $4,448,000
  • Trade exception: $18,131,946
  • Trade exception: $4,494,702
  • Trade exception: $1,836,090
  • Trade exception: $1,836,090
  • Trade exception: $1,637,966

Note: The Nets would lose access to the full mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception if their team salary surpasses the tax apron.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, J. Brown, Sixers, Nurse, Raptors

There’s a good chance that the Nets, who have a surplus of wings, will trade at least one of their veterans this offseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscription required). Brooklyn stocked up on two-way wings at the trade deadline, acquiring Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and Dorian Finney-Smith in deals with Phoenix and Dallas.

Bridges looks like a player the Nets will build around, and while Johnson will reach free agency this summer, Brooklyn can control that process since he’ll be a restricted free agent. In Lewis’ view, that leaves Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale as the two wings most likely to be on the trade block this offseason. For his part, Finney-Smith is very aware that more changes could be coming to the Nets’ roster in the coming months.

“Everybody here knows what’s going on, we know the pieces we have and you just never know in this league,” he said. “So I guess we’re going to see after the draft. See what’s going on and go from there.”

According to Lewis, while there’s a belief that the Nets could move one of their three-and-D wings to try to balance their roster, people around the NBA also think the club may trade one of its first-round picks in order to add scoring and/or rebounding. Brooklyn currently controls two consecutive first-rounders at No. 21 and No. 22 in this year’s draft.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • If the Celtics were to make Jaylen Brown available this offseason, there would be “robust demand” from “a lot” of teams around the league, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on The Lowe podcast prior to Boston’s Game 4 victory (hat tip to RealGM). Although Brown has struggled in the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Miami, it’s obviously not groundbreaking news that a 26-year-old All-NBA wing would be popular on the trade market. Brown, who has one year left on his contract, will be super-max eligible this offseason, but wouldn’t be able to sign a super-max deal if he’s traded.
  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer believes that Nick Nurse should be atop the Sixers‘ wish list as they seek a new head coach, arguing that the team would benefit from Nurse’s outside-the-box thinking. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Nurse will have interviewed with the Sixers, Bucks, and Suns by week’s end and is believed to be at or near the top of the list for all three jobs. If Nurse is their top choice, the 76ers may need to accelerate their search process in order to avoid losing him to Milwaukee or Phoenix, observes Kyle Neubeck of
  • A perfect offseason for the Raptors would see the team hire Monty Williams as its head coach and trade Pascal Siakam to Portland in a package headlined by Anfernee Simons and this year’s No. 3 pick, Eric Koreen of The Athletic contends. In his proposed scenario, Koreen also envisions Toronto drafting Scoot Henderson, re-signing Jakob Poeltl, letting Gary Trent Jr. walk, signing-and-trading Fred VanVleet to Chicago, using the mid-level exception to sign Donte DiVincenzo, and flipping Simons to Memphis in a deal for Tyus Jones and Luke Kennard.

Mikal Bridges Says Brooklyn Fans Responded To Drama-Free Approach

Mikal Bridges believes Nets fans have accepted him not only because of his performance on the court, but also because he brought a culture change after years of drama involving Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant. In an interview with The Pivot podcast, hosted by former NFL players Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark, Bridges talks about the situation he entered when he was traded from Phoenix to Brooklyn in February (hat tip to Nets Daily).

“I think Brooklyn some had a lot going on. They had Kyrie, Harden and KD and then all that happening … and like Kyrie and stuff,” Bridges said. “I think (fans) were ready for a refresh, and I’m like the total opposite of them dudes. I’m just like, the quietest, chillest. I ain’t trippin’ off nothin’, so I’ll just (be) this happy all the time. So I was just like, I knew I was gonna be fine for sure.”

Bridges said he was thrilled that the trade gave him a chance to play in the New York City spotlight. He adds that the deal didn’t catch him off guard because he knew Phoenix was among Durant’s preferred destinations when he made his first trade request last June.

“Me, I always love New York,” Bridges said. “So when even when the whole situation happened in the summer when KD asked for a trade he wanted to come here. Me and Cam Johnson knew, ‘Well, obviously we’re going to be a part of that.’ Like we just knew KD wants to come here. We’re gonna so just make jokes like, ‘Oh, we’re going to Brooklyn’ but like, I love New York. I thought I was gonna get drafted No. 9 by the Knicks and I was prepared to not live in the city but I was prepared to be in the city. I was very excited about living in New York.”

Bridges touches on a few more topics during the podcast, including:

How he’s been able to improve his game throughout his five years in the NBA:

“Everybody will ask me like, well, like, ‘what’s the secret? How you get better?’ I’m like, ‘It’s just work out.’ I just work out every day, I just work out. I mean, I don’t kill myself, but I work out and I just get better. I think there’s no secret to it. I just, just work out and work on my game and try to get stronger and just keep trying to go up and I think that’s the easiest thing.”

How he was able to avoid the gun culture that has derailed Ja Morant‘s career:

“My mom don’t play none of that. If I bring somebody around my mom, she would be, ‘Nah.’ That’s just how it is. Like people are scared of my mom like she don’t play, know that, and as I got older now it’s funny because I feel like I’ll tell her all the time, ‘I’m really becoming you,’ ’cause she’s human resources, like she has to fire people all the time. She has to be that boss lady.”

His expectations for next season as the Nets’ new leader:

“I just think coming into the preseason to the team we’ll have– obviously, it might be a little bit different when the time comes, you never know, we got free agents and stuff like that. Just be the leader and come in and just know like, all I care about is winning. If I’m still one of the main guys trying to do everything, it ain’t about me.”

Nets Notes: Bridges, C. Jones, Kalkbrenner, Holmes, Bates

There has been speculation that Nets forward Mikal Bridges will be a target for the Trail Blazers if and when they shop the No. 3 overall pick, but John Hollinger of The Athletic is skeptical that a deal centered around that pick would appeal to Brooklyn.

As Hollinger points out, the Nets don’t control their own first-rounders in any of the next four drafts, so they have little incentive to take a step back in the short term. Plus, Bridges is signed to one of the NBA’s most team-friendly contracts through the 2025/26 season.

Alex Schiffer of The Athletic (Twitter link) says he has heard the same thing as Hollinger at the draft combine in Chicago. According to Schiffer, any rumors linking Bridges to Portland are “all talk,” since Brooklyn isn’t interested.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Many prospects in this year’s draft class have cited Bridges as a player they want to emulate at the NBA level, according to Schiffer. Iowa’s Kris Murray, Villanova’s Cam Whitmore, Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis, and Frenchman Rayan Rupert are among the prospects who likened themselves to Bridges. “I want to have the same trajectory and same process he did,” Rupert said. “Mikal Bridges is a big inspiration for me.”
  • Xavier guard Colby Jones told Schiffer that he’s scheduled to work out for the Nets in the coming weeks. Jones is the No. 28 prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Brooklyn owns the Nos. 21 and 22 picks in next month’s draft.
  • Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner and Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II are among the draft prospects who worked out for the Nets prior to the draft combine, Schiffer writes for The Athletic. Kalkbrenner, who has also auditioned for the Bulls, said that his session with Brooklyn went well, but Holmes wasn’t as positive about his workout in Brooklyn. “I didn’t do too well, I feel like, at the Nets,” Holmes said. “I feel like I could have stepped it up a bit, but it was good to learn. Great players there.”
  • Former five-star recruit Emoni Bates has been linked to the Nets and said he’ll work out for them at some point in the coming weeks, according to Schiffer. An Eastern Michigan forward, Bates added that he also has workouts lined up with the Thunder, Suns, Cavaliers, Blazers, and Pistons.
  • In case you missed it, Ben Simmons‘ agent said earlier this week that the former No. 1 overall pick is “progressing really well” in his injury rehab process. We have more details here.