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


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

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving runs up the court docket in the course of the to start with fifty percent of Sport 4 of an NBA basketball to start with-spherical playoff sequence towards the Boston Celtics. AP Image/John Minchillo

Kyrie Irving is not sacrificing something meaningful by opting in to participate in with the Nets yet again future season.

Do not allow his lofty terms on Twitter mislead you: Irving will make $37 million upcoming period, which — together with his failure to obtain a feasible indication-and-trade solution — is in all probability the greatest purpose he opted into the ultimate 12 months of the offer.

“Normal people hold the world heading, but individuals who dare to be diverse direct us into tomorrow. I have made my choice to choose in. See you in the tumble,” Irving wrote, in accordance to the Athletic.

If only we were all as courageous as the guy who approved the opportunity to perform a calendar year of basketball for $37 million.

Irving probably does truly feel a sure quantity of duty to his pal Kevin Durant, who stuffed one particular of the “two max slots” with him on the Nets roster. Durant bolted from a Warriors staff that just received a championship with no him for the opportunity to create anything of his possess with Irving in Brooklyn.

But staring at a dry indication-and-trade industry and the somewhat bleak possibility of signing a mid-stage exception deal truly worth around $6 million with the Lakers, Irving produced the only sensible alternative signing on for a prove-it season right before hitting unrestricted absolutely free company.

That sets Irving up for the most essential time of his vocation — if he hopes to make significant revenue likely forward, he requires to display he is a web-favourable in spite of his defensive struggles, and he demands to engage in a large amount of games.

But which is a different story. Interestingly, Irving’s determination to re-signal may possibly be fantastic information for an Atlantic Division opponent: The Celtics.

Soon after all, the Celtics just swept the Nets in the very first round — not an effortless sweep by 2-seed vs. 7-seed criteria, but surely the Celtics’ most straightforward collection of the playoffs. Ben Simmons may well make a big difference since he defends Jayson Tatum greater than any one the Nets function seriously, but he’s a hard needle to thread offensively. Joe Harris can shoot and could be back again, but he’s a further focus on defensively on a staff that attributes various.

The Nets, in the meantime, hire 1 celebrity and two flawed stars with a lot to establish. That could signify they coalesce, but it also could signify competing agendas for a pair of players in Simmons and Irving that have not revealed a great deal of fascination in staff objectives in excess of the system of their professions.

If Irving and Durant broke up, the benefits could have worked in the Celtics’ favor if just one or each players finished up in the Western Conference, but it may possibly have been disastrous. Picture a Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo-Kevin Durant trio in Miami, for example, or even a Kevin Durant-Bradley Beal duo in Washington (which could possibly have been a significantly less dysfunctional version of Irving/Durant in Brooklyn). There is no assurance possibly team would have been excellent, but equally could have been grueling for a healthy Celtics group, and the Warmth in certain confirmed they are a really capable risk to the Celtics’ hopes of getting back again to the Finals.

To make issues a lot more complicated, rumors about a likely Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant deal only would have gotten louder — chatter that, evidently, has now attained Brown. Irving’s departure would have turned that up quite a few decibels, and the noise was now setting up to get loud.

In its place, Durant and Irving — a pairing that does not look specially promising, particularly as both gamers get older — will test to drag a flawed Nets roster deep into the playoffs. Possibly it works this time. Following all, Durant is an all-time excellent, and Irving is an outstanding expertise on his best evenings.

But presumably, the Celtics aren’t perspiring buckets imagining about going through a Nets group they just swept. The enemy you know (and recently vanquished) is preferable to the just one you don’t.