Brooklyn Nets: Problematic pairing of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

While the idea of putting together Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant has many Brooklyn Nets fans with stars in their eyes, the idea comes with some problems.

With the 2019 NBA free agency just days away the Brooklyn Nets find themselves in the center of the popular rumor that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will both be signed by Brooklyn.

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Here we will analyze the potential problematic pairing of Durant and Irving.

There are already problems and free agency hasn’t even begun.

The first problem is clearing the cap space just to make acquiring both players even possible.

The Nets would have to renounce all their free agents, including All-Star D’Angelo Russell, as well as move other pieces to have the necessary cap space required in order to sign Durant and Irving in free agency.

If the Nets renounce Russell they would lose his Bird rights and the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team.

There are several teams interested in acquiring Russell, so if the Nets renounce him there is a strong likelihood that D-Lo will be on his way out of Brooklyn.

That might not seem like a big deal but it is. If the Nets fail to sign Irving and Durant after renouncing Russell they could lose their only current All-Star to free agency. To lose Russell like this would not be smart asset management.

Without a doubt Irving is currently a better player than Russell, but the Nets should not be in such haste to pursue Irving and Durant which would ultimately exile Russell from Brooklyn.

If Russell is re-signed to Brooklyn on a maximum contract, he could either be signed for five years at $158.05 million. Another team can offer a max of four years at $117.8 million.

If Irving is signed to a maximum contract in Brooklyn he would be due $140.61 million over four years.

Not only is Russell a cheaper option than Irving now, but re-signing Russell guarantees the Nets will keep him as a future asset. They can be more flexible with such an asset for a potential move down the line, especially since so many teams want Russell.

In four years Kyrie will be 31 years old and Russell will only be 27 years old. In 2023 Kyrie will be ready to exit his prime while D-Lo will be in the midst of his prime ready to peak. While Irving may be statistically better than D-Lo now, he may not be in four years.