Kyrie's Exit, KD's Uncertainty: The Brooklyn Nets' Crossroads
The Brooklyn Nets have found themselves in quite a fix. Apparently, the demands and confusion involving Kyrie Irving were too much for the Nets and their front office to handle. Although the Brooklyn Nets have resurrected their season after firing Steve Nash, there appeared to be no way that the relationship between Kyrie and the Brooklyn Nets can survive another minute. Kyrie Irving requested that he be traded before the trading deadline. The Nets officially grant his request and traded Kyrie on Sunday.
Kyrie Irving and his teammate Markieff Morris will be officially traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney Smith, a 2029 first-round pick, and second-round picks in 2027 and 2029. While I understand that the Brooklyn Nets had a sense of urgency to trade Kyrie Irving before the deadline, it's pretty apparent that they took the first deal that sounded good. If you're going to trade a player as great as Kyrie Irving, the return on your trade shouldn't leave you worse off than you were before the trade.
Kevin Durant. Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, the Nets find themselves in this position. Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney Smith will end up in the Nets rotation. However, they cannot create the same impact as Kyrie Irving. On top of that, the Nets did not get enough picks. Moreover, the draft picks they received won't come into play for several years. As of now, there has been no reason to suggest that Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn too. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually decides he doesn't want to be part of this franchise, either.
I don't believe Kevin Durant will have the patience to deal with a situation where he has no clear #2 option. While Spencer Dinwiddie is a fine player, I don't think you can count on him for such a task. It goes without saying that Ben Simmons is not going to fill that void. Based on what we've seen recently, Cam Thomas will certainly increase his scoring output, with Kyrie no longer being in the fold.
It is way too early for Thomas to be considered the #2 scoring option on the Brooklyn Nets. I don't doubt that Kevin Durant will depart for greener pastures eventually. According to NBA on TNT sideline reporter Chris Haynes, the Suns plan to pursue Kevin Durant if or when he is made available. It will only be a matter of time before other teams follow suit.
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