In an article penned for the New York Daily News, Anthony Puccio notes that not only are the Nets trying to attract big free agents. The free agents are ready to be wooed by Brooklyn.
With just about three weeks until the beginning of free agency, this move is further proof that the Nets might already have somebody in mind — and it appears like that guy is Kyrie Irving. Sources tell the Daily News that the Brooklyn Nets are “frontrunners” to get Irving if he decides to leave Boston.
Another league source told the News that there is mutual interest between Irving and the Nets, and that Brooklyn is shooting for the big prize: Irving and Kevin Durant.
The same source added that the Nets are unique in a big way.
“The difference between Brooklyn and most teams that have cap space is that Brooklyn has the full package,” one league source said about Durant. “Players want more nowadays and Brooklyn has all the tools. They’ll have a good shot at KD if Kyrie ends up in Brooklyn.”
That presumably starts with a roster that was the sixth seed in the East last season, a growing reputation for taking good care of their players ... and families, facilities that are the envy of the league and owners willing to spent. Not to mention the biggest market in the NBA.
Pooch writes as well that if the Nets do come up with Kevin and Kyrie —and their crosstown rivals struggle in free agency— it could lead to a big shift in the city, one with a historical precedent
If KD and Kyrie team up in Brooklyn, it could lead to a realignment of pro basketball in the city, much like the Mets’ gathering of stars — homegrown and traded — changed the face of baseball in the city in the late 1980s. Kids became Mets fans. The Mets challenged the Yankees in attendance. Stars do things like that and the Nets have a chance to finally do the same after another disappointing year in attendance and ratings.
There are personal connections as well between the stars and players currently on the roster. Pooch repeated what Caris LeVert told him about his relationship with Durant.
“It’s like a big brother. He reached out when I was in college. Obviously, we had similar injuries and things like that and the same surgeon. He’s like a big brother… He’s obviously played on a huge stage right now repeatedly for a couple of years playing in the Finals and things like that. He gives a lot of good advice.”
It should be noted that the player acquired in the Allen Crabbe trade, Taurean Prince, spoke recently of HIS relationship with KD. Prince, in fact, said he has tried to model his game after Durant’s (and Kawhi Leonard.) Here’s his comments just two weeks ago on their relationship.
“Yeah, we’re cool. We talk about things we can do to help my preparation, ways to be better off the court. He’s a big family guy. So am I. Pretty much things like that.
“We worked out a few times this past summer. [He taught me about ] Balance. That’s a huge thing with him. Just being on balance on your shot, being balanced getting to your spot. Whatever you do, do it with balance.”
The big question is whether the Nets can fit D’Angelo Russell in this picture. While Pooch has reported that the Nets believe they can make it work, the Internet was filled this weekend with pundits suggesting it can’t work and in fact won’t work. One source said he thinks the Nets will try to keep him.
“D’Angelo helped [the Nets] skip steps they wouldn’t have taken without his success. It would be hard for them to let him go.”
We’ll know soon enough, but as Pooch points out, we already know a lot and it’s all pretty new.
- Nets ready to make a splash for Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant this summer - Anthony Puccio - New York Daily News