Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were expected to bring just one thing to the Brooklyn Nets when they joined the team in 2019, a championship. The duo decided to team up in Brooklyn even though KD was injured, but the expectation was that once he returned, they would be primed to contend for a few seasons to come.
Instead, both look like they're on their way out of the franchise this summer. Irving's contract extension saga ended up with him seemingly committing to stay, but the dysfunction in the organization seemingly tipped Durant into putting in a trade request. The inflated market has led to these stars being unlikely to be traded quickly though and has put Brooklyn in the center of attention for the whole offseason.
And while they can afford to wait with both KD and Kyrie under contract with the franchise, it is costing them in other ways. The uncertainty of their future means they are struggling to land free agents thanks to the drama, as The Athletic's Alex Schiffer explained in a Q&A.
“All of the drama has absolutely impacted the way free agents look at signing with the Nets. How can it not? Would you go work for a company that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately? Would you have taken a job at Enron after the scandal came out years ago and the stock was worth pennies? I don’t think other front offices have minded the drama in Brooklyn. It just makes their sales pitch easier to free agents also considering the Nets.”
The Nets acquired the services of T. J. Warren, but haven't been able to do much else. This is understandable considering that free agents don't even know if the team will be challenging or tanking next season. All things considered, this has been a shambolic offseason for the team so far, and they will need to make their decisions and any moves soon if they wish to have a clear identity next season.