The Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season (or however long this season does actually last) are going to be a amazing case study.
Earlier this week the team traded for All-Star Guard James Harden from the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster trade that ended up involving in upwards of 4 teams including the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Adding to the drama is the ongoing mystery of Kyrie Irving who has been away from the team since January 6th due to “personal reasons”. Some believe the personal reasons is in connection to the Capitol Hill massacre that transpired on Washington DC.
Far be it for me to judge Irving on how to feel but the optics here looks really bad. But you don’t need me to tell you that. He hasn’t been in contact with the team since taking his leave. Rumor is he should be back with the team this weekend. But his odd behavior off the court isn’t anything new.
Now for clarity, Kyrie Irving isn’t a bad guy. Let me set that aside right now.
That said, off court issues aside I’m scratching my head at the biggest basketball question of all. How in the holy hell is this three-some alongside Harden and Kevin Durant is actually going to work ON the court. Remember there is still one.....count them.......one basketball to play with. I know many are going to immediately slide in the example of the Miami Heat “Big 3” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in that they were #1 options thrown unto one big pile of shit roster and expected to make it work. But the secret sauce in all honesty was that there were big, and I mean big sacrifices made that ultimately made that blueprint work to the tune of two NBA Championships in four seasons. All four seasons by the way ended with at least an appearance in the NBA Finals.
Which of these three guys is willing to make a sacrifice in giving up less shots?
Kevin Durant already did that to an extent in his three short seasons in Golden State. I don’t see that being an option especially given he’s the best player of the three.
Nor should he
James Harden? Nope. He’s arguably (weight issues aside currently) still the best pure scorer in the entire league.
Kyrie Irving? Let’s not even go there. Will be even be on the roster by the spring is a plausible question at this point.
I am truly skeptical this is actually going to work. At least in the short term. And hey the short term might be the most realistic way to loom at this. Kevin Durant can if he wants opt out of his contract after next season. In other words this all-in move literally has a year and a half to work. Or else it’s likely to blow up with either, if not all
three All-Stars moving to other pastures.
This is where I am right now. And by the way I reserve the right to change my mind moving forward if proven wrong.
I’m so skeptical that unless there’s another roster tweak between now and the NBA postseason, I’m calling my shot now.
Forget the NBA Finals.
I’m predicting this Brooklyn Nets team currently constructed does not get out of the 2nd round of the East playoffs.
Anyone out there willing to wager with me?