Brooklyn Nets: Why Kyrie Irving, even alone, would be worth it

Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Kyrie Irving signing could mean the end for D’Angelo Russell with the Brooklyn Nets. Regardless, the Nets should do everything they can to sign him.

Rumors have been flying of Kyrie Irving’s interest in joining the Brooklyn Nets this offseason. An Irving signing could mean the end for D’Angelo Russell in Brooklyn, but it might not. Regardless, here’s why the Nets should do everything they can to make sure Kyrie puts pen to paper.

Opportunities like this haven’t come often for the Brooklyn Nets. Sean Marks and company stuck to the plan and now have a chance to take the team to a new level. With or without Kevin Durant, or others, Kyrie Irving would do that for the Nets.

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There are concerns about how Irving will impact Brooklyn’s culture, and that he contributed to the turmoil around the Boston Celtics this past season. I don’t have those concerns. He was asked specifically about the Nets bench celebrations last season, and admitted he would have liked that type of environment on his own team.

Now we get to the implications of an Irving signing on the court. Kyrie Irving is a top-three point guard in the NBA and at his best he’s a top 10-15 player in the NBA. He is one of the most skilled ball handlers of our generation.

Some say the Brooklyn Nets are too guard heavy, and that Irving would be redundant. The Nets ranked 26th in the NBA in turnovers last year and only 21st in assists. Irving would improve those areas immensely.

With Irving on the court last season, the Celtics were a top-three team in offensive efficiency. Without him they slid down to the bottom third.

I’ve seen some concerns about his defense, but the Celtics defensive efficiency did not lag much with Irving on the court compared to their overall rating.

Even with high usage, his field goal percentage has been fantastic the past few seasons, and he’s a legitimate 40 percent three point shooter.

Irving signing with the Nets could mean that D’Angelo Russell will not. The Nets fan base has an attachment to Russell and for good reason. He has become the poster child for Brooklyn’s rebuild and arguably carried the team to the post season last year.

Kyrie Irving is still a major upgrade over D’Angelo Russell. Irving is what you hope D’Angelo Russell becomes in four years. He has a ring, he’s an All-NBA player and he’s still only 27 years old. The two guards share some similarities as far as play style and being ball dominant.

For the record, I think the two could co-exist in Brooklyn’s backcourt.

But if you have to choose between the two, Kyrie Irving should be the choice. This could end up being like the Stephon Marbury-for-Jason Kidd swap. That turned out great for the Nets.

All that being said, Kyrie Irving with the Nets core becomes a majorly attractive destination for another superstar to join, whether it be a Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler or even Tobias Harris.

The first tier of NBA free agents would be more likely to come to Brooklyn to play with Kyrie compared to D’Angelo Russell. That’s not a knock on Russell, but it’s the reality the Nets face right now.

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With less than two weeks to go before free agency begins, there are still many things that could change. But if Kyrie Irving wants to play for the Brooklyn Nets next season, the Brooklyn Nets need to make that happen.