Sunday, June 26, 2022

West finalist could pose a threat to Land Nets Kyrie Irving, NBA exec says

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To put it bluntly, Kyrie Irving’s first three seasons with the Brooklyn Nets have been a failure so far. In the last two trips to the playoffs with him and Kevin Durant at the helm, the Nets have been eliminated twice without even making it past the second round. Once viewed as a team capable of winning an NBA title in the near future, the Nets have struggled to hold their own as a midfield team.

Brooklyn faces a difficult upcoming decision over an extension for its all-star point guard. Irving can become a free agent this summer by stepping out in the final year of his contract. And after playing just 29 games last season, Nets general manager Sean Marks and his front office are unconvinced about offering Irving maximum overtime. An Eastern Conference executive told Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher that the Dallas Mavericks could attack him when the star point guard goes on the open market in July.

“While the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and LA Clippers are reportedly interested in Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving if he doesn’t opt ​​into the final year of his current contract and test the free hand, an executive suggested the Eastern Conference this before The Dallas Mavericks offer the best fit,” writes Bucher.

“The reasons were pretty simple: their GM, their coach and their star player.”

The GM also notes that in Dallas, Kyrie would put him in a similar position on the court he’s currently in with Durant on the Nets. He doesn’t have to be the best player on the team.

“With Luka, Kyrie doesn’t have to be your best player,” the GM told Bucher. “He doesn’t have to lead. But they need a second goalscorer and he can do it.”

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Kyrie, who joined the Mavericks, would pair him with another incredible shooter in Luka Doncic and newly acquired big man Christian Wood. But list aside, one of the most important factors in free agency is off-court relationships. The GM tells Bucher that Irving’s connection to Maverick’s general manager Nico Mannion could help him choose Dallas as his next target.

“Maverick’s first-year GM, Nico Harrison, appears to already have a strong relationship with Irving from his previous job as Vice President of North America Basketball Operations for Nike, with whom Irving had a signature shoe,” Bucher writes.

One thing that has also been questioned is Irving’s relationship with Nets head coach Steve Nash. Upon Nash’s arrival in Brooklyn, one of the first things Kyrie did was undermine his authority as head coach on Kevin Durant’s podcast, The ETCs. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith also recently revealed that Irving would run private practices behind Nash’s back.

Although Nash and Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd are both ex-players-turned-coaches, Kidd has a championship and Nash doesn’t. That could make all the difference in Kyrie’s respect.

“One of the problems with Brooklyn is Irving’s apparent lack of respect for Steve Nash as head coach,” Bucher writes. “While both Nash and Jason Kidd have had careers in the Hall of Fame as point guards, Kidd has a championship to his credit – as does Irving – while Nash does not.”

The clock is ticking for Kyrie to make a final decision about his future with the Nets. He has until June 29 to decide on his final year of contract.

CONTINUE READING: Surging West Team “Significant Threat” for Land Nets All-Star: Report

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