Brooklyn Nets Set to Retain Rising Star Trendon Watford as Restricted Free Agent

The Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of a full-scale rebuild after trading away star forward Mikal Bridges to the New York Knicks. However, the team is not completely abandoning their young talent as they prepare to extend a qualifying offer to forward Trendon Watford, making him a restricted free agent.

Watford's Impressive Sophomore Season

According to reports from Brian Lewis of the New York Post, the Nets will extend a qualifying offer to Watford by the June 29th deadline. This means the 23-year-old will become a restricted free agent, allowing the Nets to match any offer sheets he receives from other teams.

Watford's performance in the 2023-24 season suggests the Nets are keen to keep him around. The young forward appeared in 63 games, making 2 starts, and averaged 6.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He shot an efficient 52.7% from the field and 39.7% from the three-point line.

Watford's development over the course of the season was a bright spot for the Nets, who struggled to find consistency and ultimately decided to move on from the Mikal Bridges era. His ability to contribute off the bench and provide valuable minutes makes him a valuable piece as the team looks to rebuild.

Restricted Free Agency and the Nets' Rebuild

By extending the qualifying offer, the Nets will retain the right of first refusal on any offer sheets Watford receives from other teams. This allows them to match the terms and keep the young forward in Brooklyn, provided the price tag is not too steep.

"As long as the price isn't too high, he should be back in Brooklyn."

The Nets' decision to extend the qualifying offer to Watford aligns with their current rebuild strategy. With the team's focus shifting towards developing young talent and acquiring future draft assets, keeping promising players like Watford in the fold is crucial.

Trendon Watford in action
Trendon Watford has shown promise for the Nets and the team wants to keep him as part of their rebuild.

As the Nets navigate this transition period, Watford's continued growth and development could play a significant role in the team's long-term plans. His ability to contribute on both ends of the floor and his strong shooting percentages make him an intriguing prospect worth retaining.

For Nets fans, the news of Watford's qualifying offer is a positive sign that the team is committed to evaluating and nurturing their young talent, even as they embark on a full-scale rebuild. It remains to be seen what kind of offers Watford may receive, but the Nets will have the opportunity to keep him in Brooklyn and see his progression unfold.

Brooklyn Nets logo

As the offseason continues, the Nets' handling of Trendon Watford's free agency will be a closely watched storyline. The team's commitment to retaining young talent like Watford could be a sign of their dedication to building a sustainable and competitive roster for the years to come.