December 1, 2022


The Healthy Technicians

Here’s why Kyrie Irving opting in with Nets could be good news for Celtics


Separating the Irving-Durant duo might not have labored in the Celtics’ favor.

Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving operates up the court docket throughout the to start with half of Video game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff collection versus the Boston Celtics. AP Image/John Minchillo

Kyrie Irving is not sacrificing anything significant by opting in to play with the Nets once more future period.

Don’t let his lofty text on Twitter mislead you: Irving will make $37 million upcoming period, which — along with his failure to locate a feasible indication-and-trade choice — is possibly the major cause he opted into the remaining yr of the deal.

“Normal men and women retain the world heading, but those who dare to be various guide us into tomorrow. I have created my final decision to decide in. See you in the tumble,” Irving wrote, according to the Athletic.

If only we have been all as courageous as the guy who accepted the prospect to play a year of basketball for $37 million.

Irving likely does really feel a sure volume of obligation to his good friend Kevin Durant, who filled a person of the “two max slots” with him on the Nets roster. Durant bolted from a Warriors group that just gained a championship devoid of him for the prospect to establish anything of his personal with Irving in Brooklyn.

But staring at a dry signal-and-trade sector and the considerably bleak probability of signing a mid-degree exception offer worthy of about $6 million with the Lakers, Irving built the only sensible decision signing on for a establish-it season in advance of hitting unrestricted no cost company.

That sets Irving up for the most significant year of his career — if he hopes to make big dollars going forward, he requirements to clearly show he is a web-favourable inspite of his defensive struggles, and he demands to perform a whole lot of games.

But that is a various story. Curiously, Irving’s choice to re-signal could possibly be superior information for an Atlantic Division opponent: The Celtics.

Just after all, the Celtics just swept the Nets in the initially spherical — not an easy sweep by 2-seed vs. 7-seed specifications, but definitely the Celtics’ least difficult sequence of the playoffs. Ben Simmons may make a variation considering that he defends Jayson Tatum improved than anyone the Nets attribute intensely, but he’s a tough needle to thread offensively. Joe Harris can shoot and could be back again, but he’s yet another target defensively on a group that options numerous.

The Nets, in the meantime, use 1 celebrity and two flawed stars with a whole lot to confirm. That could indicate they coalesce, but it also could indicate competing agendas for a pair of players in Simmons and Irving that haven’t shown a lot of desire in crew targets in excess of the program of their careers.

If Irving and Durant broke up, the results may well have labored in the Celtics’ favor if a person or the two players ended up in the Western Conference, but it may have been disastrous. Consider a Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo-Kevin Durant trio in Miami, for case in point, or even a Kevin Durant-Bradley Beal duo in Washington (which might have been a significantly less dysfunctional edition of Irving/Durant in Brooklyn). There’s no guarantee possibly team would have been perfect, but both of those could have been grueling for a nutritious Celtics staff, and the Warmth in specific showed they are a hugely capable danger to the Celtics’ hopes of finding again to the Finals.

To make issues much more difficult, rumors about a prospective Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant offer only would have gotten louder — chatter that, apparently, has previously reached Brown. Irving’s departure would have turned that up many decibels, and the sounds was presently starting up to get loud.

Alternatively, Durant and Irving — a pairing that doesn’t appear specially promising, particularly as equally gamers get older — will try out to drag a flawed Nets roster deep into the playoffs. It’s possible it operates this time. Immediately after all, Durant is an all-time fantastic, and Irving is an amazing expertise on his most effective evenings.

But presumably, the Celtics aren’t sweating buckets pondering about struggling with a Nets workforce they just swept. The enemy you know (and just lately vanquished) is preferable to the 1 you never.

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