Brooklyn made a huge move that sent shockwaves all over the league by acquiring former MVP James Harden from Houston that involved four-teams.
FULL TRADE DETAILS, per @ShamsCharania— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 13, 2021
◻️ James Harden
◻️ 3 BKN first-rounders
◻️ 1 MIL first
◻️ 4 BKN 1st-round swaps
◻️ Caris LeVert
◻️ Jarrett Allen
◻️ Taurean Prince pic.twitter.com/esGgmHULmI
The trade certainly made fans curious on how all this will work as on paper, it seems that every team involved won, either for the long run or short run.
But no question is bigger than what will happen with the Nets after this trade.
Harden’s addition turned Brooklyn into a super team and they now have the “Championship or Bust” tag since they have arguably three of the top 10 players in the league.
But is this really going to work?
Now, I’m not pointing fingers to anyone in terms of basketball. Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are certainly future Hall of Famers, and can probably play with anyone. Just check out their averages this season.
- Durant: 29.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.8 APG, 53.7% FG and 46.2% 3PT FG
- Irving: 27.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 50.4% FG and 42.6% 3PT FG
- Harden: 24.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 10.4 APG, 44.4% FG and 34.7% 3PT FG
But will this work despite the issues hovering the team, especially, the issue with Irving? He’s only played seven of Brooklyn’s 14 games this season.
The last time the one-time NBA Champion played was back in the fifth of January against Utah, where he dropped 29 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals to give them the 130-96 win.
Since then, Irving has already missed five games. The only explanation that the Brooklyn organization gave on his absence is “personal reasons”.
This obviously made the fans, media, experts and officials wondering as to why he’s really not playing.
Recently, he got fined $50,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols as he was seen attending a private indoor party.
Now, some say that Irving being a “diva” is worth it since they’ll probably win the title and especially that they now have Harden on board. I mean, just check out Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman giving their thoughts on his situation.
NBA legend Charles Barkley went on record and said that Iriving needs to grow up and stated that he don’t feel like Brooklyn trusts him no more.
The whole issue with Kyrie Irving is certainly drawing a lot of eyes.
But the question now is this will affect Brooklyn this season. If you ask me, I think this will affect them big time.
One of the biggest or probably the biggest problem this trio have is that they don’t have that natural leader.
In the past, Dwyane Wade showed LeBron James and Chris Bosh leadership before James eventually took that role. Draymond Green showed leadership despite being the third when to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Michael Jordan was the harsh leader of the Bulls squad that won second three-peat with Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
However, in this trio, they haven’t proven it.
Durant didn’t look like a leader in his time with the OKC but he was certainly the best player, Harden showed brilliance as a Rocket but it was Chris Paul who actually led the team and helped them reach the West Finals.
As for Irving, he said he wanted to be a leader when he left Cleveland for Boston but as we all know, it didn’t work out.
He got injured the first season but the Celtics, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, reached the East Finals. During his return, they didn’t come close to that success. Without Irving, the Celtics are a cohesive team unit that will challenge for the title for years to come.
In Brooklyn, with one of the big three missing time for God knows what reason, who’s going to sit them down and tell them they’re fine and that they’re still going to win the title?
Who’s going to convince Kyrie to finally get back on the team and start winning games?
Most importantly, who’s going to lead them in the court and show them that the stars would need to sacrifice in order to get the job done. Durant may be the only one able to, because he had to play with the splash brothers for a few years.
We haven’t seen Irving and Harden do what’s necessary to win, despite all the talent, that’s somethings that’s been holding both of them back.
I think this will only work if the trio play like a team and sacrifice for each other. Things would only crash and burn if they don’t get a full buy-in from all three stars.
We got a taste over the weekend of how things may look in the future, after Harden became the first player to have a triple-double on a debut game for a new team. His 32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals were a sight to behold. Oh, and Durant also chipped in 42 points.
If Irving can grow up, sacrifice, and share, the sky’s the limit. So far, he’s failing the leadership test.
The Nets take on the Bucks next on January 19 at 8:30 AM Manila time. Irving is currently listed as ‘questionable’ for the game.
When do you think Kyrie will finally return? Do you think this Brooklyn trio will work? Sound off in the comment section!