Just last year, the Nets assembled a historically talented trio: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Harden already forced a trade to the 76ers. Brooklyn reportedly isn’t offering a long-term deal to Kyrie Irving, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Is this just the start?
Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News:
Last summer I got a tip I didn’t want to believe: A source familiar with the inner workings of the Nets roster told me James Harden would leave Brooklyn.
Followed by Kyrie Irving, then ultimately Kevin Durant, a purported course of events that would undoubtedly send the Nets back to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings after just three seasons in the spotlight.
With Harden already gone and Irving’s status in limbo, Winfield’s source certainly looks prophetic right now. It’s very possible this person knows what will unfold with the Nets.
There were signs Harden would leave Brooklyn. After getting traded to Philadelphia, he revealed he preferred the 76ers to the Nets even while still with the Rockets.
Irving reportedly considered requesting a trade from the Cavaliers a year before he actually did. The wheels were in motion on his exit from the Celtics well before he actually left.
Likewise, Durant’s eventual departure from the Warriors was sniffed out long before it happened.
Which is to say these stars have previously decided in advance to leave a team and left clues along the way. It wouldn’t be shocking if the writing is on the wall now – even if we don’t yet recognize it.
But I’d caution: Just because a pessimist is correct once doesn’t mean his other predictions will be correct.
Durant signed a four-year extension (albeit with a player option) last summer. He still sounds supportive of Irving, who recently said he’d stay.
Of course, Irving once said the same thing about Cleveland and Boston.
The Nets made their bed with three mercurial stars – one already gone. Whatever happens next, especially after such a disappointing season, Brooklyn shouldn’t be shocked to be facing this dubiety.