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Brooklyn Nets forward sees ‘incredible opportunity’ after Mikal Bridges trade

It’s time for a fresh start in Brooklyn. The Nets’ rebuild began with the team sending Mikal Bridges across the bridge, reuniting him with three former Villanova teammates on the New York Knicks.

Getting back five first-round picks was an incredible move by the Nets. There is a proven model for a successful rebuild: Give young talent the room to develop and grow their games with increased opportunities and stockpile draft assets by trading for win-now talent.

The Bridges trade kicked off a complete rebuild in Brooklyn. For Nets forward Noah Clowney, there is now an “incredible opportunity” to become a better player.

“I think Mikal should be proud in a way,” Clowney said Monday. “To be traded for five first-round picks is superstar stuff, but for me it’s an opportunity. No offense to him, he’s my dog, I love him, but to see us heading into a rebuilding situation is an incredible opportunity for me and I have to try to take advantage of it.”

Clowney, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward, was the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. He’s soon to be 20, young and has his entire career ahead of him, and the Nets’ rebuild allows him to forge that career and define what he can be in the league.

“My main goal is to try to take advantage of what we have. I leave the selections up to whoever decides,” Clowney said. “I just try to do my part, play hard and be excited about everything we do, so like I said, there are opportunities. It should be fun.”

Rebuilds don’t happen quickly and require patience. It takes time for the roster to gel, but Clowney has time to make sure he’s a key part of the team.

For the Nets, giving each young player the opportunity to have a level of freedom in their game to establish themselves is important as they deal with asset management and look to recruit well to ensure the next era of basketball in Brooklyn is a successful one.

READ MORE: Ben Simmons expected to be ‘100 percent’ for Brooklyn Nets

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