The Brooklyn Nets’ offseason acquisition of T.J. Warren exemplifies the classic low-risk, high-reward free agency signing.
Warren was a productive starter in Phoenix and Indiana but missed all last season and only appeared in four games in 2020-21 due to foot injuries, which allowed Brooklyn to scoop him up for the veteran’s minimum.
Now, if Warren stays healthy, he has an opportunity to provide massive value to a Brooklyn Nets team that has underperformed on the court and baffled fans of New York sports betting.
In fact, Warren comes out on top of research by NewYorkBets.com. Using Basketball-Reference.com, NewYorkBets.com found the cap hit of every member of the 2022-23 Nets roster and then divided that by each player’s total win shares from the 2021-22 NBA season.
That provided how much money each player makes per win share.
Here is a look at the New YorkBets.com findings.
Breaking Down the Numbers
While Warren has averaged 2.9 win shares per year over his last three seasons, he put up career numbers the last time he was healthy. In 67 games for the Pacers in 2019-20, Warren averaged 19.8 points per game and shot 53.6% from the field on his way to a 6.5-win share season, all personal bests. Brooklyn likely will have to pay up if he regains his form, though, as Warren only signed for one year in hopes of rebuilding his value.
Warren was not the only cost-effective veteran forward Brooklyn brought in to upgrade its bench this offseason. The Nets traded a 2023 first-round pick to Utah for Royce O’Neale, who surprisingly led the Jazz in total minutes played last year. O’Neale is unlikely to earn the 30+ minutes per night that allowed him to put up back-to-back win share seasons of 5+ given the quality of Brooklyn’s roster. Even in a reduced role, O’Neale still brings versatile defense and shooting ability that allows him to impact the game with low usage.
Users of NY betting apps and sports fans around the country know Ben Simmons remains the ultimate basketball enigma. Even though he failed to suit up to play last year amid injuries and a messy public feud with the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons has accumulated an impressive 30.4 career win shares in just four seasons on the court.
Simmons’ shooting issues are well documented, but when he is right, few others offer his blend of size, athleticism, defense and ball skills. The Nets will need to hope a new environment can bring out the best in Simmons, but their commitment to surrounding him with shooters is a good start from an on-court perspective.
After an extensive offseason trade request saga, Kevin Durant is still on the Nets’ roster and carrying the fourth-highest cap hit in the NBA.
Durant scored 29.9 points per game last season and finished 15th in the league in total win shares in just 55 games (his most games played since 2018-19) but posted his worst season by win shares per 48 minutes since 2010-11.
That hasn’t scared off oddsmakers, though, as DraftKings NY has Durant at +800 to win the NBA MVP. That places him fourth behind the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (+425), the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600) and 76ers center Joel Embiid (+650).
Surely, New York NBA betting still sees Durant’s mere presence as one of the most fearsome players on the planet, which significantly elevates the Nets and keeps them in championship contention.
Durant’s co-star, Kyrie Irving, does not carry quite the same cap hit, but his availability issues, combined with the league’s 19th highest salary, place him last on this list. Irving has played in just 103 games since joining the Nets three seasons ago, including only 29 last year.
However, when he is on the court, Irving’s impact continues to be felt, as he has recorded a robust .180 win shares per 48 minutes over his three years in Brooklyn.
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How Sportsbooks View the Nets
Despite being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, the Nets remain one of the top choices on NY sportsbooks to win the NBA title.
FanDuel NY has the Nets at +700 to win it all.
That places Brooklyn tied for third with the Los Angeles Clippers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors to take the NBA crown, behind the Celtics (+500) and the Milwaukee Bucks (+650).