Brand new Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is sitting at 33/1 (+3300) odds to win the 2019-2020 NBA MVP. Given the competition and current makeup of the Nets roster, can he do it?
The on-court play of Kyrie Irving is almost never in question. His competence and his skill have landed him as a consensus top five point guard in the entire league, so is it possible to believe he could find himself as the MVP of the NBA next season?
While within the last several years there has been constant rhetoric centered around Kyrie’s commitment to his teammates and to his organization, he’s now found himself in the one place he’s always wanted to be–home. This in itself can give him a large sense of motivation as we’ve seen that when Kyrie wants to be somewhere, he shines.
The Brooklyn Nets roster is set up in a way that will compliment Kyrie. He’ll have Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, and Rodinos Kurucs on the perimeter looking for outside shots, as well as DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen in the low post and protecting the rim on defense. This will open up Kyrie’s play style and allow him to operate how he chooses.
Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson will have the opportunity throughout the season to use Kyrie as his main flow of offense, as well as to use him as his closer. Going to Kyrie late in games as a primary ball handler could set him up flawlessly for the MVP award.
A season ago, Kyrie averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game with the Boston Celtics and he did this playing in 67 total games. His shooting splits were a remarkable .487/.401/.873, which is shockingly one of his poorest shooting seasons since 2015-2016, when he won his championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With all that being said, what Kyrie needs to do for the Brooklyn Nets this season is play more or at least equal to his career high of 75 games. This will maximize his potential and allow him to unleash on the rest of the league. The importance of him being in an environment that he chose to be in cannot be overstated, as he’ll feel comfortable with his teammates and staff.
Now possibly the biggest reason that Kyrie could conceivably win the MVP for the Brooklyn Nets may be the most obvious: Kevin Durant will miss all if not most of the upcoming season as the timetable for his return remains up in the air. This will allow Kyrie to freely handle the ball without his co-star and make it his team. Kyrie has free reign in Brooklyn and it could be his award to lose with no one stopping him on his own team.
The Brooklyn Nets may have another reason to celebrate next year.