If the Brooklyn Nets were hoping that Kyrie Irving would be shaking in his boots over the team’s stance on giving him a long-term deal, they’ve missed the mark.
While Nets fans have spent the past 48 hours in emotional disarray after it leaked that the Nets were unwilling to give the superstar a long-term deal, Irving seemed at peace. Irving has reportedly been in North Dakota this week and by the looks of his Instagram account is far from concerned with a contract.
At the end of the day, my money would still be on Kyrie Irving being a Brooklyn Net next season, but the fact that things have taken a turn like this is not even close to what the Nets needed this offseason. The prospect of the Nets even playing without Irving, which could have grander ramifications than just that, is not a winning formula for Brooklyn.
Everyone saw what the Nets were without one of their best players on the court on a nightly basis and it wasn’t up to par for a team expected to compete for a title. Irving has come with his share of issues and off-the-court baggage, that is a shock to no one who has followed the NBA, but when he’s at his best he is one of the game’s best point guards and a key part of a championship-contending team.
And even more crucial, there isn’t a plan B for the Nets to replace his talent should their hardball tactics backfire and he decides to become a free agent. Yes, Irving’s options are limited as to where he could get the most money on the open market, but as the New York Daily News pointed out in their original reporting, there are workarounds.
Add on top of that the likelihood that if Kyrie Irving goes, so does Kevin Durant. They’ve basically become a package deal. If you really want to hit the alarm bells, then the fact that the Nets front office hasn’t spoken to Durant since the season ended should surely raise a few eyebrows.
Sean Marks tried to change the narrative at his end of the year press conference about just how much say the players have in the Nets organization. However, even Marks acknowledged that Durant was clued into important decisions that are made involving the Nets.
Radio silence right now, amidst one of the most important offseasons to date seems a bit odd, especially for Durant.
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The Nets are surely aware of the situation that they’re in and at the end of the day Marks and Irving will work out a new deal whatever that may look like, but Brooklyn is playing with fire to start an offseason that they need to get right.
When the team moved to Brooklyn now 20 years ago they tried to make a big splash by signing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. That didn’t go according to plan as many fans remember, they can’t afford another blunder like that this time around in Kings County.