Getting rid of Kyrie Irving isn’t going to be easy


Damned in case you do, damned in case you don’t.
Picture: Getty Photos

Logically, it makes zero sense to present Kyrie Irving a long-term contract.

No matter your stance on vaccines — as a result of one way or the other public well being is a political problem as properly — his resolution to not obtain a vaxx for COVID was selfish. It was a alternative that he made for himself, the those that his resolution affected be damned. That, together with Durant’s damage, put the Brooklyn Nets in a foul postseason spot as a play-in workforce that. According to Irving himself, they didn’t have sufficient time to gel with a purpose to actually compete towards a workforce as proficient because the Boston Celtics within the first spherical.

There was additionally the earlier season through which he missed 9 video games for “private causes” which can be nonetheless unknown. Irving has had damage issues since he performed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and that’s unhealthy sufficient. Now, three seasons into his time with the Nets, his availability might be summed up as: He performs when it’s handy to him.

That’s not the kind of particular person to ink to a long-term contract, except the group is the Brooklyn Nets. They guess on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to not solely be the very best gamers, but additionally enterprise companions with important resolution making energy — it’s Irving who stated after the Celtics sweep that he sees himself and Durant managing the workforce alongside proprietor Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks. The issue with Irving having that energy and affect over workforce choices is he operates in a area all to himself, however the Nets selected to present him and Durant that energy.

To attempt to do a reset on that energy now would imply a tough reset for your entire franchise. The New York Each day Information’ Kristian Winfield is reporting {that a} supply stated the Nets are unwilling to present Irving a long-term contract extension. Winfield can also be reporting that Durant has not communicated with the entrance workplace for the reason that finish of the season.

The Nets have one reply to all the issues: Give Irving an extension. Don’t let him enter free company or train his player-possibility to stick with the workforce for another 12 months. Perhaps they will attempt to purpose with him on his availability, however they need to hold Durant wholesome and glad. Sadly for the Nets, one of the best ways for them to do this is with Irving and Ben Simmons, who didn’t play basketball your entire 2020-21 season on account of a mix of psychological well being and again points — each of which might be an enormous concern by themselves.

Except Tsai and Marks have some spectacular roster transfer that might promote Durant on the Nets parting methods with Irving, they’re all caught with one another. Sorry Tsai, you’re Al Bundy and also you’ve obtained what’s in entrance of you, so that you higher make some good jokes to get by means of it.

Whereas that is an annoying situation the Nets have discovered themselves in, it could possibly be worse. They’re an NBA workforce with actual expertise on its roster. Joe Harris needs to be again subsequent 12 months, and Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton had some solid moments towards the Celtics. Goran Dragić can also be a veteran ball handler and scorer who can excel in a diminished position. With a wholesome Simmons once more taking part in like one of many NBA’s finest defensive stoppers, the Nets are pretty much as good as any workforce within the league. The difficulty once more, after all, is relying on a participant who can’t be counted on to simply present up.

It’s enterprise individuals who run the Nets they usually doubtless don’t need to cope with individuals who aren’t reliable sufficient to indicate as much as work. Their drawback is that this undependable particular person is a self-proclaimed member of the manager workforce and holds as a lot affect as anybody contained in the group.

Look, the Nets barely fee in New York anyway. A minimum of give the celebrities and hipsters a purpose to return to Barclays Heart, and the NBA a purpose to maintain them on nationwide tv as incessantly as potential. They’ve to increase Irving and hope for the very best. As a result of, whereas there’s a thriller to what’s going to occur if he’s on the workforce for the following few seasons, it’s clear as day what’s going to occur if he’s not. They lose. And that’s unassailable logic.

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