Brooklyn Nets news: After landing superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer, the Nets officially became a legitimate championship contender. However, in order to bring those two on board, Brooklyn had to let go of D’Angelo Russell, arguably their best player last season.
Russell made it to the All-Star team for the first time in his career last season, where he averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. He led the Nets to the playoffs as the sixth seed in the East, but they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
A lot of people were impressed with Russell’s growth as a player, which led to some fans believing that Brooklyn made a mistake by replacing him with Irving. In an interview with Ian Begley of SNYTV, an anonymous scout thinks that D’Lo is a better fit for this Nets roster.
“I would say for this group, I thought D’Angelo was better, to be honest with you. He was younger, healthier than Kyrie. And just the way (Nets head coach) Kenny (Atkinson) wanted to play, I thought D’Angelo fit better.”
Of course, the consensus around the league is that Irving is a better player, and that’s one of the main reasons why another scout believes that the Nets adding him was indeed the right move to make.
“I think Kyrie’s a superstar. D’Angelo’s going to be a really good player. But Kyrie is just at the next level. If his head’s straight and he’s going to be all in, with the core they have, I think (the Nets) have a really bright future (with Irving)….I think (replacing Russell with Irving) is an upgrade.”
Irving had a disappointing run with the Boston Celtics last season. Although he was also able to lead them to the postseason, fans expected a lot more from him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to co-exist with the Cs’ young players, which eventually led to him deciding to walk away from the team.
The main problem now is that the Nets also have a young squad, which means that they could also face the same problems that the Celtics had with Kyrie. However, if the one-time champion will learn to be more patient, he should have no problems fitting in with this team.
As for Russell, another great opportunity is ahead of him as he is set to join the Golden State Warriors, one of the best teams in the league over the past five years. Playing alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green should make him an even better player, especially since he will also be coached by one of the NBA’s best, Steve Kerr.
Only time will tell if the Nets will thrive with Irving or not. He will have an entire season to prove doubters wrong, and if he does end up making Brooklyn better, imagine how good they will be when Durant returns from injury.
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