For what was supposed to be the biggest wave in the NBA offseason, the entire Brooklyn Nets saga has produced anything but a ripple in the entire NBA picture. This was meant to culminate in the movement of 2 top-ten players in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Would Kyrie have blossomed in his second chance with Lebron in L.A? Would superteams be formed in Phoenix or Toronto with KD leading the way? Well, none of that is going to happen. Both Durant and Irving have restated their commitment to the Nets, and in the most anticlimactic ending ever, the Brooklyn Nets saga is over. For now.
The Loose Wheel
It seems like the blunt of this entire explosion can be traced back to one single man. Kyrie Irving was blowing up the Nets much before this offseason. He pushed James Harden off the team(a foreshadowing of the turmoil set to go down) and became a catalyst for criticism and talk show segments. Last season, it seemed like Kyrie was the head of Brooklyn news. Randomly sitting out for months, reportedly angering Harden, and sitting out even more months because he violated the NBA Covid-19 vaccine policy. Whether you agree with some of the things he did or not, Kyrie was the fuse to blow this whole thing up and it seemed-for a few times this offseason- that the fuse would be fully burned. Yet, Irving has doubled down on his commitment to the Brooklyn Nets for the final year of his contract. Not only does he believe in the project happening right now in Brooklyn, but also knows that he will be a much more attractive and desired piece when he becomes a free agent next year.
The Mic Drop
While almost the entire Irving saga headlined above was going down, it always seemed like the Nets would be able to retain their superstar in Kevin Durant. He would be there, and at worst they would have a healthy Ben Simmons to pair alongside Durant and whatever returns they got from the Irving trade. This was until the massive news broke that Durant was looking for a way out of Brooklyn. He had requested a trade, and suitors from all over the league were already lining up with offers. The thing is that after that initial trade request, we never really heard from Durant again. Of course there was news of the major offers and consistent stance of the Nets for a young All-Star and draft picks, but even weeks after the trade request we never heard anything from Durant. Now though, it seems like the entire saga is over for now and the Nets have patched up the wounds and convinced both superstars that there is still a championship window in Brooklyn.
To Brooklyn’s credit, they stood firm on their asking price and were still able to control the entire team situation regarding Steve Nash as the head coach. Now for the Nets, they need to move forward with a purpose. Mend the relationship that was almost certainly broken between Durant and Irving with many of the staff and players on the Nets(especially when Durant asked for Nash to be fired). They must also find those difference making vets and cheap role players who might just push the balance, towards a championship run. Most importantly though, the Nets must be competitive and win the championship this year. This year is the only thing they have guaranteed with Durant and Irving, and they must make the most of it.
Top Image: David Butler II/ USA TODAY Sports