Will Nets’ $110M Trio Finally Play In Round 1?

    • The Nets have dedicated 63% of their $110M payroll to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons.
    • The three might play their first game together in a first-round matchup against Boston.

The Nets formed a new Big Three at the trade deadline, but Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons have yet to play a game together.

Now, after clinching the 7-seed for a first-round series against Boston, there’s a good chance that Simmons (back) could make his season debut in Game 3 or 4 in Brooklyn.

That’s good news for the Nets, who have dedicated 63% of their payroll to the trio — with a $33 million cap hit for Simmons alone.

  • Durant, Irving, and Simmons account for $110M of Brooklyn’s $174.5M payroll.
  • Brooklyn’s 10th-worst defensive rating (112.3) would improve immensely with the two-time All-Defensive First Teamer.
  • Simmons’ 106.1 defensive rating in 2020-21 was tied for fourth in the NBA.
  • With Simmons on the court last year, the 76ers had a 107.4 defensive rating, which would’ve ranked second.

This season’s Nets have posed a conundrum for sportsbooks and bettors: Brooklyn is a star-studded team on paper whose stars have barely played together. 

Yet despite making the postseason as a 7-seed through the play-in, the Nets still have the third-best odds (+600) to win it all behind the Suns (+255) and Bucks (+475). 

Brooklyn also has a slight advantage (-120) to win its series with Boston (-110) — but at Caesars Sportsbook, 98% of bettors have put their money on the Celtics to win the series.