This NBA offseason has been one of the most chaotic in recent history and one team has been the underrated focus of attention...the Brooklyn Nets. We should be celebrating this team's performance in Free Agency right? They acquired two of the most lethal offensive superstars in the NBA, so on paper, it was obviously a home run. So why does it feel like we are in for a rough journey?
Let's take a quick trip down memory lane to go over what the Brooklyn Nets organization has experienced in the last year. This most recent season this Brooklyn Nets team was a tremendous surprise and surpassed a number of expectations league-wide. The Nets had turned into a gritty team filled with a tremendous young nucleus and looked years ahead of their rebuilding process. Led by the vastly underrated Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, the Nets found themselves battling in the Playoffs and officially put the rest of the NBA on notice...the Brooklyn Nets had arrived. D'Angelo Russell made his first All-Star game during the year and it looked as if Russell was expected to re-sign in the offseason for the longterm future.
But then it happened...
Reports started to swirl as Free Agency got closer that the Nets were pursuing then Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, who had an extremely controversial season while leading a young core of promising talent. Yes, I know exactly what you're thinking...this plot does sound a bit familiar. Now look, there's no saying that Kyrie can't flip a switch with an offseason of looking back on the nightmare season that he had off the court with the Celtics, but there's also another curveball to consider here...Kevin Durant. One of the best players in the NBA and arguably one of the best scorers in the history of the game, Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles during the NBA Finals and is expected to miss the entire next season. So what happens if the Nets struggle next year? Is Kyrie going to throw the other amount of young talent under the bus compared similarly to what he did in Boston?
Let's also talk about the Deandre Jordan signing. Kevin Durant was known to be close friends with Deandre and was trying to find a way to get the big man to Brooklyn as well as Kyrie. The Nets were willing to go ahead with the move. So DJ would go on to sign a reported 4 year/$40 million deal with Brooklyn. It's a bit of a weird move by the Nets. No offense to Deandre, but it seems like a weird fit on paper. DJ will turn 31 in late July and the Nets had a promising young talent in Jarrett Allen that could develop into a DJ-like player.
This team simply just has a bit of a weird feeling. On one hand, some will argue that the Nets have great depth. They have some promising young European talents developing. Rodions Kurucs showed some nice flashes last year and Dzanan Musa is a passionate scoring option with great size that is developing nicely. Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the best bench assets in the NBA, and Caris Levert aka "Baby Durant" has the talent to become a young star in this league if he can maintain his health. The team still has a fair share of more than capable role players such as the outside sniper of Joe Harris and the team added veteran Wilson Chandler in Free Agency to make up for the one year of no KD. Still, was this the right path moving forward for this Brooklyn Nets franchise? Should they have continued to rebuild around DLo and taken the slow approach?
Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure...all of us will have our attention towards Kyrie Irving in his 3rd attempt to be a leader for an NBA organization.