It was the Lakers, it was the Warriors, and it was the Clippers. For Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, everybody had their opinions on where the two stars would end up before the end of the summer of 2019.
The Brooklyn Nets were not among those list of teams — at least, not right away and not for both.
Yet, as we approach training camp, that’s exatly where they ended up. Brooklyn, interestingly enough, had a feeling it would be this way from the beginning despite all the noise that hinted otherwise.
The Nets, according to a source, were confident that Durant and Kyrie were a done deal the night before free agency started. Regardless, there’s no way to prove tampering. https://t.co/ZgN3iJse6q
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) September 15, 2019
This does beg the question: how did they know? Were they in communication with both players before the start of free agency? Had they already been negotiating a deal?
If so, then the Nets would be guilty of tampering, a rule the NBA is working hard to enforce — and are now suggesting a $10 million fine for teams that break it.
“I think it’s pointless at the end of the day to have rules that we can’t enforce,” said Silver, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “It hurts the perception of integrity around the league if people say, ‘Well, you have that rule and it’s obvious that teams aren’t fully complying, so why do you have it?’ I think the sense in the (Board of Governors meeting) room was we should revisit those rules.”
Fortunately, there is no tangible evidence that the Nets broke tampering regulations. But their case of prior and advanced knowledge is causing many in the community to question just what the free agency process looks like for teams around the association.
Nonetheless, Brooklyn will bask in their laurels. No matter how they secured it, the arrival of Kevin and Kyrie are signaling a new beginning for the franchise. It might have been just in the nick of time, too.