The NBA Finals is not over yet but free agency rumors have already started to heat up. The Nets traded Allen Crabbe and draft picks to the Hawks to clear cap space and there are reports that Brooklyn is the favorite to land Kyrie Irving.
In the latest Open Floor podcast, Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post's Ben Golliver discuss Kyrie’s potential next move, his fit in Brooklyn and if they would rather have D’Angelo Russell.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Ben Golliver: If I’m the Nets, I'd rather have D'Angelo than Kyrie and if I’m Kenny Atkinson and what they've tried to build there—what they've been preaching for the last five years—you're better off rewarding D'Angelo then going against everything you've said.They are just going to bring in this mercenary Kyrie who is going to have no loyalty to their organization and we will see how things go when they go bad for him.
Andrew Sharp: So I agree with that to a point except that I think that if Kyrie is the guy who brings you the second star, go get Kyrie and that's the same reason the Celtics are going to try to keep Kyrie and it's the same reason the Knicks would be interested in Kyrie. I don't think there's any question that whoever pays that dude is going to be taking a massive risk and most of those teams will probably know that going in. This guy has a sketchy injury history and I think at times, that's the underplayed element in all of this—as much as people want to nitpick his decision making and his mindset—there were times at the end of that last season where he just looked old. It looked like he knew his joints were kind of aching and he wasn't moving very well.
Golliver: Well the truth comes out from the jilted Celtics fan.
Sharp: It doesn't help that he had that beard where he began to actually look like Uncle Drew in some of those press conferences and so I would proceed with caution no matter what. But if you're the Nets you do that deal and I think there are a lot of Nets fans who who feel otherwise and say 'No let's keep D’Angelo. Let's keep building with the core we have'. But you do that deal If it opens the door to somebody else.
Golliver: I'm not sure. I mean I could see where the Nets are coming from on that one. I am one of the world's biggest D'Angelo skeptics obviously but you know the cost comparison between what you have to pay Kyrie vs. what you have to pay D'Angelo—the age gap—do you really want to be a team that needs Kyrie to get another star? And if there's another star who is like insisting on playing with Kyrie, do you want that star? I might question that person's decision making too.