The Toronto Raptors had to have been extremely fearful of the Brooklyn Nets when they were able to land Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the same offseason. When the pair have been healthy, they’ve looked unstoppable at times. However, Brooklyn’s grand experiment is in danger of blowing up thanks to Irving’s irritation.
The Nets have reportedly permitted Irving to seek sign-and-trade options, as he has grown frustrated with Brooklyn’s insistence on giving him a shorter, incentive-laden deal rather than a max contract. If one-half of the dynamic duo splits up, Durant might not stay.
Reports suggest that the Nets are willing to part with both players, as Durant hasn’t given them a definitive answer on playing in Brooklyn without Irving. Due to the fact Irving was irritated at the Nets having the audacity to question his durability after missing 123 games in three years, the whole thing could collapse.
This is fantastic news for the Raptors. With the defending conference champion Celtics and always deadly 76ers in their division, watching the Nets go from a no-doubt contender to a fringe playoff team thanks to the whims of one disgruntled volatile superstar is hilarious to watch.
The Toronto Raptors will love Kyrie Irving tearing up the Brooklyn Nets.
The Raptors finished just a few games ahead of the Nets despite the midseason trade of James Harden, Durant’s missing time due to injury, and Irving’s nonsensical vaccine sabbatical. The Raptors blitzed Brooklyn thoroughly whenever Durant and Irving were forced to sit out. Even in losses to Durant, Toronto played well.
If the Nets can mend fences, the fact that KD is under contract until 2027 could throw a wrench into Toronto’s plans. As it stands right now, however, a team on the upswing like Toronto is about to see a critical four-game stint on their schedule get much easier thanks to their combination of ready-made stars and talented youngsters.
I actually feel bad for Durant. He’s playing some of the best basketball of his career, yet he’s had two future Hall of Fame teammates quit on him in four months. That doesn’t change the fact that Toronto should be thrilled that Irving and Harden have helped Brooklyn bungle a once-in-a-lifetime chance at building a winner.
While the Nets will likely get back a sizeable haul in a sign-and-trade for either of these players, the fact that Houston controls much of Brooklyn’s draft capital means that this team will not be a threat in the East if a deal gets done. This makes Toronto’s climb back to the top that much easier.