The Brooklyn Nets need to look for a replacement for Wilson Chandler after learning that the forward is opting out of the 2020 NBA restart.
We already knew that the Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the NBA’s season restart in Orlando, but they are hardly the only guys who will be missing. Veteran forward Wilson Chandler is choosing not to play in the season restart as well.
“As difficult as it will be to not be with my teammates, the health and well-being of my family has to come first,” Wilson said via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “Thank you to the Nets organization for understanding and supporting me in this decision, and I will be watching and rooting for our team in Orlando.”
This will definitely hurt the Nets on the court, but the fact of the matter is that Chandler must make the best decision for his family. Plain and simple.
With that said, the Nets will need to look at the free-agent market to find a replacement for Chandler. As it stands, the Nets have Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs who can play the four-spot. Prince started most games at the four for Brooklyn this season, but he’s been a case study in inconsistency.
Likewise, Kurucs took a step back in year two after his eye-opening rookie season that was highlighted by the spark he provided to the starting lineup during the second half of the season.
Outside of those two, the cupboard is mostly bare. Rookie big man Nicolas Claxton recently underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Would interim head coach Jacque Vaughn be comfortable moving Joe Harris to the four spot in a pinch? Perhaps, but it would likely depend on matchups.
Brooklyn is desperate for a big man who can flex between the four and five spots. DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen will split playing time at center, but one injury would leave the Nets with one center.
Claxton was the third-string center prior to his surgery while Chandler was the emergency backup due to his physicality and strength inside. It wasn’t perfect (and wasn’t used often), but think of it like when Jared Dudley would occasionally play the five during the 2018-19 season.
Perhaps in response to Chandler’s decision, the Nets are signing Justin Anderson per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Anderson spent some time with Brooklyn earlier this season, appearing in just three games. The former first-round pick is more of a small forward, but it’s safe to assume the Nets may look at him as an option at power forward.
Still, despite the Anderson signing, the Nets are thin in the frontcourt.