Gentlemen start your CHECKBOOKS!!!
Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m. is the beginning of NBA free agency for the 2019-20 season. At that time, players are allowed to meet with teams and talk about the parameters of new contracts. Call this the wooing period because they cannot actually sign on the dotted line until noon on July 6.
Speculation is running wild with “league insiders” predicting who fits best where and why. Twitter is aflutter with scenarios on what seems like an hourly basis. This time of year I’m reminded of that old saying:
“Opinions are like you know what’s, everybody’s got one”. So take all of this with a grain of salt my friends.
If Kevin Durant is FA #1, then Kyrie Irving is clearly FA #2, and as Sunday quickly approaches it looks more and more like they will be pulling on the same jersey next year. Make that the year after, KD will most likely miss the 2019/20 season (torn Achilles).
As for which jersey that will be, well, consensus is growing that it will be a team from New York…and no, not that one.
A little perspective for actually how we have arrived at this unbelievable point wouldn’t hurt, right? I mean Brooklyn has not exactly been a destination of choice for top-tier free agents recently. Because of this, Brooklyn Nets GM, Sean Marks had to get creative.
His goal was to sign an up and comer, the next “it” guy (code for a lesser player). So he doled out crazy high offer sheets to folks like Tyler Johnson ($50 million), Allen Crabbe ($75 million – and whom he later traded for), and Otto Porter Jr. ($106 million). Only because their existing teams incredibly matched these ridiculous offers were these disasters averted.
Since then Marks has worked wonders to revamp the franchise’s reputation around the league. His hiring of Kenny Atkinson, a great teacher with the reputation of being tough on players but fair was also huge. From the teams upgraded medical staff to the fact they are just doing things the right way now, obviously his years in San Antonio have rubbed off on him.
Photo: Def Pen
Having finally gotten the Nets positioned right where he wants them he got bold. On June 6 he got a jump on free agency by trading Allen Crabbe and two draft choices to the Portland Trailblazers.
The move was clearly made to free up cap space for Kyrie (and a friend). What a buzzkill for the Knicks. For the longest time THEY were the ones who would sign him (Zion and KD too). That no longer is the deal, say those in the know. The West Orange, NJ native, and noted tormenter of John McAleavey’s 7th Grade Recreation Basketball team (Millburn, NJ), wants to be a Net.
In fact, conventional wisdom is that Irving to Brooklyn is practically a done deal! But, often times when there is a gain, it comes at the expense of something/someone else. In this case, Kyrie Irving coming to town means D’Angelo Russell is probably leaving. What just two years ago would seem like a no-brainer swap of one for the other, isn’t so no-brainer-ish any longer. Sure Irving has skills that very few players on the planet have, and when he is right he’s almost un-guardable.
But Russell is no slouch either. The former #2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft has blossomed in Brooklyn. He went from a reluctant defender who could score, to a complete, big point guard who averaged 21 points per game this past season and made his first All-Star team. Did I mention he is just 23 years old?
While there are some compelling factors that weigh in D’Angelo’s favor, like he would not cost as much as Kyrie, is four years younger, doesn’t have the same injury history, and isn’t a speak his mind locker room presence (see Celtics just completed disastrous season),… it appears the Nets have made their choice.
KI and KD, Brooklyn Nets by July 6? If so, Sean will have clearly left his Marks! 😉🏀
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
Feature Photo: ClutchPoints