Just a few months in and there are already whispers that the Brooklyn Nets may have made a mistake by signing Kyrie Irving. That’s a tough pill to swallow considering his talent, but a closer look may reveal that he may need to go in order for the Nets to thrive.
This season, Irving is averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.4 rebounds while shooting. 444 percent from the floor. Great numbers indeed as an individual, however, the Nets were 4-7 during that stretch. While Irving can indeed score and defend, there are always two issues that Sean Marks had to be worried about.
Throughout his career, Irving has spent a nice chunk of games on the bench in street clothes. This season has been no different as Irving has already missed 16 games. For his career, Irving has played no more than 75 games an entire season. I know it’s early and this is the best time to deal with such issues but for Irving and the Nets, this may have been a blessing in disguise.
The second issue is chemistry. What made the 2018 Nets so special was their bond. Say what you want about the problems D’Angelo Russell had with the Los Angeles Lakers, they didn’t follow him to Brooklyn. Russell and the Nets struggled to begin the year but when they hit their stride, they rode that all the way to the playoffs.
Irving was labeled a locker room cancer while in Cleveland and Boston. So, what made Marks think he just turned a corner on his approach? Before Irving’s injury, there were already whispers of mood swings and selfish play. With no Kevin Durant to offset the ball hogging, the rest of the roster was forced to watch the one-man show.
Irving feels he still has something to prove and maybe he does. He won a title with LeBron James then requested a trade. Landed in Boston, got injured and watched as that team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals without him. Two weeks ago, when asked by the New York Daily News, Kevin Garnett stated he wasn’t surprised that Irving left Boston.
Boston’s a tough town, dawg. You have to have some major cojones to be there. You got to want that. The people want it for you. That’s why Paul (Pierce) is perfect for it. Paul wants the shot every time. Like, ‘You’re 0-for-14.’ And he’s like, ‘I know, but they WANT it.
This offseason, the Nets paid a King’s Ransom for his services and so far, it’s been more fool’s gold than anything. So, why not trade him? He’s still young (27 years old), he’s a proven All-Star and a champion. What may stop Marks from doing this is Durant.
Durant came to Brooklyn to play with Irving. If the Nets were to trade him, how would that go over with Durant? The other thing to point out is that 2019-20 Nets was supposed to just set the foundation of the future until KD returns. However, if the Nets keep this intensity and chemistry and pulling out victories with their current core, why is Irving with his high salary, injury history and mood swings needed?
As of December 15th, teams are eligible to trade newly signed players. Is there a market for Irving? Yes, and the Nets have every right to explore it.