The 2022 NBA Draft is upon us and several big names are in the spotlight.
Chris Broussard‘s “Under Duress” list features a group of NBA teams and players who desperately need to turn things around.
Brooklyn Nets dominate Broussard’s ‘Under Duress’ list
Watch to see why the Orlando Magic, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets’ front office top Chris Broussard’s Under Duress list.
5. Kevin Wildes, “First Things First”
Outlook: Broussard’s cohost makes the list after threatening to leave the “frisky” Orlando Magic if they don’t draft Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Broussard’s thoughts: “You’ve already abandoned Ja Morant for Patrick Beverley and the Minnesota Timberwolves, [and] now you’re threatening to leave the Orlando Magic if they don’t draft Chet Holmgren? Here’s the deal. You need Chet Holmgren to be awesome — a superstar — and you also need Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero, whoever they draft, to be a flop. So, there’s a lot of pressure on you because I don’t think any of those things are happening.”
4. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Outlook: Durant averaged 29.9 points on 51.8% shooting and 7.4 rebounds per game last season. The Nets earned a spot in the postseason, only to get swept in the opening round of the playoffs, while Durant’s former team, the Golden State Warriors, went on to win it all.
Broussard’s thoughts: “Decisions, decisions. ‘Should I get involved with the Kyrie [Irving] contract negotiations? If I don’t get involved, and he walks, should I request or demand a trade? If I demand a trade or request a trade, I could end up in Chicago or Orlando or Sacramento or God knows where I could end, so maybe I’ll just chill.’ Tough situation for Kevin Durant.”
3. Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Outlook: All eyes seem to be on Brooklyn as the Nets continue to tread water in their dealings with Irving. This is why the organization takes up most of the spots on Broussard’s list this week. Irving only played in 29 of the 82 regular-season games this season, averaging 27.4 points per game. Irving has made it clear that he wants to play for the Nets, but do the Nets want him?
Broussard’s thoughts: “Decisions, decisions. ‘Should I get risk leaving the place I love?’ He’s living in the same town he grew up in. He wanted that his whole career. Now he’s here, and he might leave it? He grew up rooting for the Nets. … He’s wanted to play with his buddy Kevin Durant. They have a chance to win a championship. … ‘I’m gonna leave it all because they won’t give me the contract [that] I want. But you know what? I’ll take $30 million less to go play in L.A. where I don’t want to be and to play with LeBron [James], who I left.’ How [does] that make sense? Kyrie [has] got a lot to think about.”
2. Orlando Magic’s front office
Outlook: The Magic hold the prized No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which will certainly set the tone for the rest of the night. They also hold the 32nd and 35th selections. Orlando finished last in the East last season with a 22-60 (.268) record, missing the postseason for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons.
Broussard’s thoughts: “They have to decide, ‘Do we swing for the fences and pick Chet Holmgren … or do we play it safe and go with Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero, who also look like they could be stars?’ It’s going to be a tough decision because if Chet becomes what Wildes thinks he can, then they could look bad if they pass on him.”
1. Nets’ front office
Outlook: The Nets finished seventh in the East last season with a 44-38 (.537) record en route to their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, which ended in a first-round sweep for the second time in four years.
Broussard’s thoughts: “‘We caved and we fired Kenny Atkinson, who we really liked as a coach. We caved and let Kyrie start playing road games even though he wasn’t vaccinated. We didn’t really want to, but we caved. Do we cave again and show … that our culture is not that of a winning NBA franchise, but it’s that of an AAU team and our players just let us absolutely what to do?’ So, they’ve got a lot of decisions to make.”
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