Lakers Got the Bulk…But Brooklyn Got the Cream

Updated: September 2, 2021

If proof was required to solidify the clout of King James’ pull-on friendly vets down to the Southern California shores and lace up their signature shoes to smash in Staples center, it was proven this offseason. An impressive number of skilled names and old legs on empty gravitated to the King on minimum contracts in hopes of a first title at the price of kissing the ring of Klutch Kingdom. It was almost historic how many ex-All-Stars Lebron was able to draw in to join the newly formed AD-Russ-Bron trio. However, the proof that was solidified appears to have been an isolated one that functioned only in a specific portion of the circle of the NBA fraternity. Despite the shit winters of New York and the not always popular public persona of one Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn drew in the cream of the crop when it came to Vet-signings this offseason.

 Not only were they able to resign Bruce Brown on a favorable 4-million-dollar deal, for reasons yet to be explained, Blake Griffin didn’t even test his free agency after playing way above expectations in the Playoffs. The man at times was giving Giannis Antetokounmpo serious problems as a defender and looked like a player who you’d choose going into a series over the majority of players signing mid-level deals. Instead, he signed for 2.6 million without even having a discussion with one of the other 29 teams. Now, everyone that covers the league knows that Blake is one of the top 10 most injury-prone players in the league and the odds he’s even available come springtime is shot in the dark. And that is why the next moves were so impressive.

With maybe the steal of the offseason, a player who was coveted by every contender, Patty Mills signed with Brooklyn not even for the full mid-level, taking 6 milli. A piece that guarantees not only will they not need to ride their two star point guards in James Harden and Kyrie Irving throughout the regular season, he’s a polish vet not scared of big moments and willing to fit in wherever necessary. It may have been the Tweet that caused the most universal grimaces across the league since so many teams wanted Mills’ services.

But the most impressive and recent signing speaks directly to the franchises’ dedication to their win-now mentality and willingness to spend. Already deep in the luxury tax, they pulled the last Vet worth taking in Paul Millsap. He had reportedly been in talks with Golden State but wanted mid-level money. Well, he signed in Brooklyn and he did for cheap on the veteran minimum. It may look like a pedestrian move, but if you solder the two players of Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap into 1, you have a serious, 20 million dollar a year talent at the 4. Not even with the caveat if they’re healthy, but throughout the regular season, the presence of the other tremendously increases the odds of both of them remaining fresh come April and May.

If it wasn’t enough, a third piece may be added soon to create a triangle for this single position in recently retired LaMarcus Aldridge. Last year he joined the Nets off the buyout market only to be forced into early retirement with an irregular heartbeat and fear of serious complications. Well, as of yesterday his medicals have been cleared and he expected to rejoin the Nets on the vet minimum. Again, in a vacuum, none of these 3 power forwards are anything to write home about, but considering all 3 them together would cost Brooklyn about 7 million, the Nets pulled in on the cheap Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and Aldridge, for a grand total of 12 million dollars a year. Adding in Patty Mills brings the 5 vets at a cost of 18 mill per, and a clear cut victory for Brooklyn that seriously puts the perceived clout of the Kingdom in sunny southern California into question. Especially considering in a playoff series for a Lebron James-led squad, it’s arguable Patty Mills straight up would be a better fit in a 7-game series than the triple-double cookie monster in Russel Westbrook.

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