It defies logic that Kyrie Irving voluntarily goes back to his uncomfortable past. Life is about moving forward and not repeating history. All this Kyrie-LeBron talk feels a lot like Kyrie purposefully throwing out a rumor he knows is not going to come true just to have the freedom to pursue what he wants to do undercover. Yes, he wants to be in New York. But the Knicks are not the only team in NYC.
Brooklyn has a nice core that made the playoffs in the east. D’Angelo Russell had an All-Star season. Caris LeVert is a star in training. Spencer Dinwiddie gets buckets. Jarett Allen needs a little bit more bulk in order to deal with the Joel Embiids of the world. But the Nets were the 5th best at making three point shots difficult. Plus, they averaged 112 points per game. The offense for the Nets fits into Kyrie’s game. The Nets took the 5th most 3-pointers.
Does Kyrie really make sense when the Nets have a point guard in D’Angelo Russell who himself is a free agent?
D-Lo is a point in name only. He’s a combo guard who you can easily slide into the two. The big problem for a Kyrie-D’Angelo backcourt is their size when they have to deal with bigger backcourts and neither play a lick of defense. But as far as scoring the ball, they can figure out how to share. It could work because Kyrie would give the Nets a legitimate closer.
The negative part is how would Kyrie deal with a young team? This season with a young team (Boston), it was a disaster. Irving didn’t understand how to motivate young players in order to get the best out of them. He ruled like a dictator and then he dominated the ball. But then so did D’Angelo Russell, dominate the ball.
But Russell can play off ball. He made 50% of his midrange shots. An Irving-Russell combo can be a lesser version of the Lillard-McCollum backcourt: a steady diet of three point bombs and mid range sweet swishes. With a versatile scorer in Caris LeVert on the wing, the Nets would cause a whole bunch of problems for defenses.
But would Kyrie really do it?
He’s unpredictable. Trying to figure him out is like trying to figure out I have cities but no houses. I have mountains but not trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I. (Answer: A map). Kyrie is a riddle unto himself. But here’s the thing. He was born in West Orange. Went to St. Patrick’s High School. He has an attachment to the team that used to belong to Jersey. So it could happen.
If it does, whoa. The Nets will have taken the wind out of the Knicks sails, even if the Knicks wind up with Kevin Durant. But then again, the Nets can shock the world and sign Durant too. Of course, that means cutting D’Angelo loose and there is no indication that Durant has Brooklyn anywhere on his radar. Durant seems to love the Warriors, Knicks and Clippers, and that’s it.
Ceasars Palace sports book thinks so highly of it happening, the Nets are the betting favorite to land Kyrie.
After the Deron Williams fiasco, and the Danny Ainge highway robbery, the Nets rebounded by acquiring other teams draft picks and making them an integral part of their system. They have a stable front office that has carved out an identity and more importantly they have playoff experience.
In many ways, Brooklyn is the better choice for a free agent. They have pieces, they know how to play with one another, and all they need is a superstar. All they need is Kyrie.