Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets
What’s the deal?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets agreed on a four year, $141* million deal.
What does Kyrie Irving bring to Brooklyn?
For the 2018-2019 season, the Nets had their young guard D’Angelo Russell put on a show, leading the team to their first playoff appearance since 2015. Now, the Nets put that aside and turn to Kyrie Irving to hopefully take the team to the next level. Irving is a six time All-Star, an NBA Champion, multiple time All-NBA player and Olympic gold medalist.
Kyrie brings with him questions, about his leadership, his locker room presence and his health. In his eight year career, Irving has only played in over 70 games in three seasons, causing a concern for how he will hold up as he heads into his prime. Another concern is his leadership, as he leaves Boston on rough terms.
Rumors of him not getting along with his teammates, people questioning his leadership and a lack of success in the playoffs with a championship quality team all lead us to this. It’s yet to be determined how all of this will play out in Brooklyn, where the number one thing general manager Sean Marks preaches is culture, but the key difference is that Kyrie will not be the biggest star in that locker room. This is the first time in Kyrie’s career that he was able to choose where he plays, and he’s bringing along one of his best friends, Kevin Durant.
Stat wise, Irving is an incredibly efficient player, being a consistent 20 point per game player throughout his career on 46% shooting. In the past three seasons, his 3P% has risen to 40% and he averaged the highest assist total of his career last season. Without a doubt Kyrie Irving is going to be an All-Star level player in Brooklyn, but the team’s success is going to ride on how his health holds up as well as how the locker room in managed.
What does this mean for Brooklyn?
For Brooklyn, Kyrie secures you a second All-NBA player this offseason. Kyrie Irving came as a package with Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan, granting Brooklyn the title of winning the offseason. Similar to Durant, Kyrie brings more than just a basketball player, he signals that the Nets were successful in their rebuild. He makes Brooklyn one of the most popular teams in the NBA, taking them from the joke of the league to the top of the top.
Unfortunately, this move comes with the departure of D’Angelo Russell, the player who has basically been the face of the Nets’ turnaround. However, Kyrie is an upgrade over Russell in most aspects of the game, and it’s a move Brooklyn had to do to reach the next level.
How would you grade this contract?
This move gets an A. Kyrie brought with him Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. If this were a solo act, Brooklyn would have to be concerned, but the fact that Brooklyn is getting a top 15 player, and becoming a popular team nets Brooklyn an easy A.
This was the Nets A-plan all along, build a culture, become a respectable team, and the big names will come. It worked out better than anyone could have expected for Marks, and this is only the beginning.