The Brooklyn Nets are preparing to enter training camp on September 27 after a rather tumultuous summer. For those who may be tardy to the party, the Nets were unsure about the futures of their franchise players, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant requested a trade from the franchise on June 30 after being swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. After trade negotiations lasted all summer and went nowhere, Durant decided to return to the franchise.
Kyrie, on the other hand, had a player option where he could have elected to become a free agent on July 1, but he ultimately decided to return as well. But the Nets are not out of the woods with Irving yet. Despite him opting in this year, the Nets star will be an unrestricted free agent next summer where he can choose to leave the Nets, and they will get nothing in return for him.
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Nets Swap Kyrie & Jrue Holiday in Latest Proposal
ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst says there is a scenario where the Nets could move Irving to ensure they don’t part ways with their star guard and come away empty-handed. A deal where they send him to the Milwaukee Bucks for their star point guard Jrue Holiday.
“I think if you called the Nets and gave them a truth serum and said, if you could trade Kyrie for Jrue Holiday right now, they would,” Windhorst said on a recent episode of ESPN’s NBA Today.
“The reason I think he’s ranked higher is because he’s an A+ defender. I saw him play alongside Kevin Durant when the Americans won the gold medal in Tokyo last year. He was awesome next to Kevin Durant.”
Adding Holiday Could Make Nets Scary on Defense
Kyrie is one of the most dynamic players in the history of the NBA. And to be frank, his level of talent cannot be easily duplicated. But the Nets have a surplus of scoring on their roster with Kevin Durant, Seth Curry, and Joe Harris.
What the Nets are lacking severely is a defensive identity, as they were surrendering 100-plus points to opponents on nearly a nightly basis last season. Adding Ben Simmons to the roster will certainly elevate the team’s defense, but adding a player with Holiday’s defensive ability could take the Nets to the next level.
Despite having a former Defensive Player of the Year winner in Giannis Antetokounmpo on their roster, Holiday often draws the assignment of the opposing team’s best player. Having an elite defender at the guard spot and the forward spot could make the Nets a nightmare to deal with on defense.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Irving. While he has affirmed his commitment to the Nets for this season on multiple occasions, the star guard has yet to chime in on what his intentions are for next season.
Losing Kyrie for nothing in free agency next summer would leave the Nets with a huge void that is nearly impossible to fill. If they are going to eventually lose him, the best route is to at least get something in return.