This year’s offseason has got to be one of the craziest in NBA history with all of the moves and pandemonium surrounding free agency. Anthony Davis joins LeBron in Los Angeles to form a dominant duo. Lonzo Ball goes to New Orleans along with his young teammates Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart; linking up with the number one draft pick Zion Williamson to form a squad of young and talented players full of optimism. Isaiah Thomas venturing to the Washington Wizards for a fresh start with a brand-new team and opportunities. Then you have Kemba Walker going to Boston joining the Celtics with a brilliant coach in Brad Stevens, having the most help he has ever had in his career as the depth of that team is one of the best in the league.
Former all-star Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has decided to leave to go to the Brooklyn Nets. Irving agreed to sign with Brooklyn on a four-year deal worth $141 million for a new beginning. Now of course, Brooklyn has already had a stellar point guard in D’Angelo, (so they decided to move him to make more cap space and eventually agreed to a deal with the Warriors. The Warriors and Brooklyn came to the conclusion to sign and trade D-Lo to Golden State on a four-year, $117 million deal. Speaking of the Golden State Warriors, they have also been involved in the frenzy of free agency losing one of their best players, Kevin Durant, to the Brooklyn Nets. This is a huge win for a team who just made their first playoff appearance in 3 years since having a dwindled Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
It is fair to conclude that Irving will have enough help with one of the league’s best players coming to Brooklyn to assist in a championship run in the very near future. Durant is due to sign a 4-year $164 million deal with the Nets. Each of the Brooklyn Nets stars agreed to take less than the max deal to DeAndre Jordan bringing even more optimism to this new and talented roster. was allowed to get a solid contract, agreeing to a $10 million deal with Brooklyn as well. This is groundbreaking news because this can shift the balance of the NBA tremendously.
Nonetheless, we cannot get too caught up in this alliance of talent because talent only takes you so far in an NBA season. It mainly comes down to the chemistry of the new duo Durant and Irving, because the chemistry is already among the helping cast of the Nets as they broke through the three-year playoff drought this past season. The reason why chemistry is such a focal point with this new combination of gifted players is that each of them has had troubles culminating their gifts with a team doing well in their absence.
Durant joined a 73-9 team winning two championships in the process, however, this past season had some friction with expressive forward Draymond Green. In a game versus the Los Angeles Clippers last season, the game was tied 106-106 and with 6 seconds left in the fourth quarter; Green dribbled the ball up the court with a hungry KD clapping his hands for the ball. Green shrugged it off and kept dribbling eventually slipping and not even being able to obtain a shot to attempt to win the game. On the sideline, tempers flared as KD got upset at the fact he didn’t get the ball knowing that he is supposed to tale the final shot. Green responded to this reaction saying that the Warriors did not need Durant and were good before having him. This is one of the most prominent reasons as to what caused KD to want out of Golden State, after the argument saying, “That’s why I am out of here.”
There are more reasons to speculate why KD wanted to leave such as, Stephen Curry being the Golden Boy in Golden State, the media speculating that he could do no wrong. Durant also had problems with head coach Steve Kerr, but that news did not really make it to the spotlight, regardless it was apparent. Not to mention that he is one of the most dominant players in the league and you cannot be one of the best at what you do and not care about your legacy. The reason why I say this is because KD has never won a championship by himself or without joining perhaps one of the best teams in NBA history.
Now switching gears to Irving and the problems he had with his former team prior to joining his hometown team of the Nets. Neglecting the fact that the Nets is his hometown team the reasons why he left ultimately boils down to his teams’ success. Two seasons ago, the Boston Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference finals only being one game away from the Finals losing to LeBron in a game 7. This success was in the absence of Irving and all-star Gordon Hayward. Expected to break through to the last stage of the playoffs with their all-star rejoining the next season, the expectation was that they can only get better.
This is the very thing that killed the team’s chemistry, as before they were no expectations then came all the expectations last season. When Irving came back the team made it to the playoffs but made an early exit getting handled by the Indiana Pacers in the semi-finals losing 4-1. This is a hard pill to swallow for someone that is supposed to be the leader of a team to come back to a team that was doing better without you.
Now digressing, it will be a little while before we see the duo of Durant and Irving due to an injured KD having a torn Achilles. He will most likely miss the entire upcoming season, but if he comes back 100% and the two start to click, there could be some serious problems for the league. However, as I said, the overall success of the team will depend on the chemistry and the dynamic between the two prominent all-stars.