For months, the media wouldn’t let go of the narrative that the New York Knicks were going to land star free agents this summer. That, of course, didn’t happen as the crosstown Nets have landed Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Kevin Durant. Everyone with a brain already knew the truth.
First, the Nets should be praised today. Not just for winning the free agency sweepstakes, but paving the way. Brooklyn made really smart decisions and found diamonds in the rough in a sport that rarely produces them. Spencer Dinwiddie was picked up off the streets and turned into a 17 point per game scorer. Nobody wanted Joe Harris. Hell, even the LeBron James led Cavs who always need shooters didn’t’ want Joe Harris. Now, Harris is the most efficient 3-point shooter in the league. Caris LeVert dropped in the draft because of an injury. The Nets took him at pick 20 and the Michigan product is on the verge of stardom. Jarrett Allen is an emerging young center. This Nets team already had the building blocks in place. The crazy part is they didn’t even have their own picks for years either because of the Kevin Garnett – Paul Pierce trade years ago. Having the building blocks in place without a top 10 draft pick is a feat that deserves all the praise in the world.
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The Irving and Durant duo automatically becomes the best point guard and wing threat in the league. That is when Durant recovers from his Achilles injury. If we’re looking at potential roadblocks, it’s going to be health. Achilles injuries are a huge deal. Something a lot of people never come back the same from. Even Kyrie has had major knee issues. Irving is also on record to wanting to retire from the sport early. The only concern here is injury. On paper, everything else points to a championship. If we have learned anything over the years, the NBA is the most on paper league that exists. The Nets have a damn good one.
The biggest advantage that those two players give the Nets is efficiency. At the end of the day, the NBA is about math. Taking the right shot and efficient shot is the thing that matters most. Both players not only score but put the ball in the hoop at an elite rate. In 2018, Irving converted 48.7 percent of his shots and 40.1 percent from 3. A year ago, Durant knocked down 52 percent of his shots while also being a career 38 percent 3-point artist. Both players truly play the game the right way too. Durant always makes the right play. While Irving can go into his scoring tunnels, it does not compare to what James Harden or Russell Westbrook does on a nightly basis where those guys don’t get teammates involved. Irving can do that.
Durant is the best player in the world. Irving is or will be (Curry is hitting his mid-30’s sooner rather than later) the best point guard in the world. Add in DeAndre Jordan along with the rest of the pieces on this Nets roster. That is championship material. While the upcoming season might be a wash without Durant, the Nets have a chance to