Moving parts, baby. As Spencer Dinwiddie tweeted Monday morning...
With the Draft four days away and free agency another 10 days after that, the big question for the Nets front office ... and their players ... is what will the team’s roster look like when all is said and done?
The Nets seem to be a good position with one of the game’s top players, Kyrie Irving. As Adrian Wojnarowski told his ESPN colleague Ryen Russillo over the weekend,
“He is pretty focused on Brooklyn right now and Boston I think is losing a grip on him if not already heaving lost a grip on him. I think they’ve known that for a while.”
That of course would be a good starting point for any off-season, an All-NBA second team player about to enter his prime. But that move would set off a number of other dominoes, both in terms of who Irving might recruit to Brooklyn as well as who from last year’s team will be headed elsewhere. Players are aware.
“We have space for two max deals, right?” Kurucs asked The Post rhetorically last week, a sentiment he repeated on Latvian TV. “So, they will definitely add some star, and for sure will make the team bigger and better.”
The big question, of course, is where does D’Angelo Russell fit in all this. As a restricted free agent, he is free to offer his skills elsewhere and then see if the Nets will match. The Pacers and Jazz appear interested. The Nets might want to try a sign-and-trade but under the new CBA that can be tricky. There hasn’t been a sign-and-trade in the last two years.
There are a lot of questions if and when Irving commits, as Brian Lewis writes Monday.
Who do they pair him with? Holdover All-Star D’Angelo Russell? Tobias Harris? Or would they forego free agency and use their cap space in a trade for somebody like Clint Capela?
Lewis also raises the possibility that if Kevin Durant returns to Golden State or signs with New York, would the Nets tender an offer sheet to Kristaps Porzingis. It would seem like a fool’s errand, considering that Mark Cuban would likely match. He gave up a lot to get him from the Knicks.
Then again, Porzingis cryptically told Latvian TV that he has “a couple of meetings” scheduled the first week of July.
“It’s planned that I’ll be in the US at the beginning of July - a couple of meetings are scheduled. After that, with the club’s permission, I would stay in United States, or go back to Latvia to prepare for the upcoming season.”
He didn’t says what kind of meetings, but that is the time free agents visit with teams. Porzingis did put the Nets atop his list of preferred trade destinations back in February, a list the Knick brain trust ignored.
Then, there’s Tobias Harris. There does indeed appear to be mutual interest between the Nets and the Long Island native, but whether that interest extends to the kind of money Harris might want is a question, our Anthony Puccio reports.
As for Capela, that rumor began this weekend when Steve Kyler, editor of Basketball Insiders, tweeted that the Nets and Celtics were pursuing the 6’10” double-double machine. The Rockets have reportedly put him on the market.
Brooklyn's primary focus has been the draft and clearing as much space for free agency... The two teams, I heard had the deepest conversations on Capela were Boston #1 and Brooklyn #2... with KD uncertain, we'll see. https://t.co/1gBAxS88iG— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 16, 2019
That seems unlikely. Capela has been held out as a model for Jarrett Allen. Although the Nets’ 21-year-old center has been practicing his three-point shot this summer, it seems hard to imagine such a Twin Towers pairing ... or that the Nets would be interested in trading Allen for Capela after investing so much in his development.
Finally, remember this. One of Sean Marks’ favorite words, right up there with “culture”, is “pivot.” He may very well have to do a lot of that in the next two or three weeks. Should be fun to watch, depending on your definition of fun, of course.
- A complete Nets’ makeover would start with Kyrie Irving - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ Rodions Kurucs not resting on his laurels - Brian Lewis - New York Post