NBA

Griffin says there's 'definitely unfinished business' for star-studded Brooklyn Nets

By Sports Desk August 12, 2021

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin says there is a sense of "unfinished business" within the roster ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.

The star-studded Nets bowed out of the NBA playoffs to eventual champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, in the Eastern Conference semi-finals 4-3.

Brooklyn were not helped by injuries to two, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, of their 'Big Three' down the stretch.

The Nets had been earmarked as title favourites following the acquisition of Harden from the Houston Rockets in January, with six-time NBA All-Star Griffin joining for the Detroit Pistons in March, and the latter said there was unfinished business after falling short.

"We obviously didn’t accomplish what we wanted," Griffin said during a video news conference. "You can say injuries, but every team had injuries.

"We feel like there’s definitely unfinished business. There’s something bigger that we want to achieve, and I still want to be a part of that."

Griffin, who became the first player in free agency to re-sign earlier this week, was confident the Nets can claim the NBA championship.

“Yeah, I think so. I think so," he said. "Obviously there’s a lot of work to do, a lot of work to be done.

"Can’t take anything for granted. But I like our team. I like the guys we have, I like our coaching staff, I like everything we’ve put together. I believe in us."

Star forward Kevin Durant re-committed to the Nets earlier this week on a bumper four-year extension believed to be worth $198million.

Former NBA Rookie of the Year Griffin, who is now 32, added that Durant's extension helped him decide to ink a minimum one-year deal.

"I mean, obviously, it’s comforting to know that the guy of that caliber is locked in," Griffin said. "KD’s kind of like that piece that brought everything together."

Brooklyn have also added guard Patty Mills from the San Antonio Spurs, fresh from leading Australia to a breakthrough bronze medal at Tokyo 2020.

"Patty adds just dynamic shooting," Griffin said. "That’s always a need for us, but also just a veteran point guard who playing against him, it seems like he’s always like that guy that comes up with a big play, - defense, offense, whatever - hits a big shot.

"He’s also a guy that can facilitate and you know, get in the teeth of defense makes the right decisions. Just a really good basketball player."

Related items

  • Lu Dort and Anfernee Simons headline big-money extensions, P.J. Tucker finds a new home Lu Dort and Anfernee Simons headline big-money extensions, P.J. Tucker finds a new home

    Lu Dort, Bobby Portis and P.J. Tucker were among the players to get paid on a busy Thursday evening of free agency action.

    Dort was shown good faith by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who opted to decline his team option that would have kept him on a $1.9million deal for next season, instead choosing to sign him to a five-year, $87.5million extension.

    On a roster stacked with rookie salaries, the Thunder simply need to have some bigger contracts on their books to meet the league's salary floor, and in doing so they have rewarded a player who has become a cult figure, averaging 17.2 points per game this past season while being his side's premier wing defender.

    Speaking of cult figures, Portis' connection with the Milwaukee Bucks after helping to deliver the city their second NBA championship was strong enough to have him stick around for the following year on just over $4m.

    That loyalty was rewarded with a new four-year, $49m deal that will keep the 27-year-old big-man in Milwaukee until after the 2026 playoffs.

    The Bucks also made a second notable move, signing 34-year-old free agent Joe Ingles to a one-year, $6.5m contract. Ingles suffered a season-ending injury with the Utah Jazz this past season, but figures to fill a role as a 41 per cent career three-point shooter, who can also handle, pass and defend at six-foot-eight.

    Tucker was also a member of the Bucks' 2021 championship team, and after contributing to the Miami Heat's run to the Eastern Conference Finals this past season, the 37-year-old has signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for three years and $33m.

    Over the years, Tucker has evolved into one of the game's best corner three point shooters, and across the past five seasons he has started 77 playoff games, often guarding the opposition's most dangerous wing scorer.

    While Tucker is getting paid to come and provide a stabilising force, the Portland Trail Blazers are paying for upside with their four-year, $100m commitment to breakout guard Anfernee Simons.

    After averaging no more than 8.4 points and 1.4 assists in each of his first three campaigns, the 23-year-old shot into mainstream attention this season and he piled up numbers on a Trail Blazers team that was missing star Damian Lillard through injury.

    Simons started a career-high 30 games, and put up career-high numbers across the board. He averaged 17.3 points and 3.9 assists, while shooting an impressive 40 per cent from three on an aggressive 7.8 attempts per game, emerging as one of the game's more lethal pull-up shooters from distance.

    Backup point guard Tyus Jones will return to the Memphis Grizzlies on a two-year, $30m contract after a season where he became one of the league's most valuable backups.

    Jones led the entire league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 6.4 – putting a gap on the rest of the field – with his brother, Tre Jones of the Spurs, in second place at 5.1.

    He also shot a career-high 39 per cent from long range, and averaged 12.7 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds without Ja Morant in the line-up, making him one of the main reasons the Grizzlies were 20-5 in the 25 games their superstar point guard missed due to injury.

  • Denver Nuggets reward reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic with richest contract in NBA history Denver Nuggets reward reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic with richest contract in NBA history

    The NBA's reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic has agreed to the richest deal in league history – signing a five-year, $264million extension with the Denver Nuggets.

    Jokic, 27, was a second-round pick in 2014, and after making the All-Rookie First Team in 2016, he evolved into an All-Star and one of the greatest passing big men to ever play.

    He has now collected four consecutive All-Star appearances, and in that time he has three All-NBA First Team honours, along with one in the Second Team.

    In each of his past two MVP seasons, Jokic has averaged at least 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game, and with a game that relies on almost no explosive athleticism at all, he plays a style that projects to age gracefully.

    With one season remaining on his current five-year, $147m deal, Jokic's new contract will kick in for the 2023-24 season, meaning he will not become an unrestricted free agent again until after the 2028 playoffs.

    The Nuggets made a run to the Western Conference Finals in the 2020 playoffs but have since struggled with the health of star point guard Jamal Murray and exciting wing shooter Michael Porter Jr, who both figure to make their returns near the start of next season.

  • Suns and Devin Booker finalising four-year, $214m supermax extension Suns and Devin Booker finalising four-year, $214m supermax extension

    Devin Booker has established himself as one of the game's elite players, and now he is going to be paid like one. 

    Booker and the Phoenix Suns have agreed to terms on a four-year, $214million supermax contract extension, according to multiple reports.

    The extension will begin after the two years and $70m Booker has remaining on his current deal signed in 2019. 

    Among the NBA's most consistent scorers, Booker has been an All-Star each of the last three seasons and finished fourth in the MVP race in 2021-22.

    He was selected to the All-NBA First Team this past year after averaging a career-high 26.8 points to go with 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He was joined on the first team by Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic.

    Booker, who was entering the final year of a five-year, $158m deal, was drafted 13th overall by the Suns in 2015 out of Kentucky.

    He improved his scoring average each of his first four seasons and is one of only three players to average at least 25 points in the past four seasons, along with Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.

    Booker will also be the cover athlete for the NBA 2K23, per sources. Booker will be among an exclusive group to appear on the cover that includes Doncic, James, Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant.

    As the Suns worked on the Booker deal on Thursday, the team were also reported to be near the front of the queue for Durant, who has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.