Kyrie Irving
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The Brooklyn Nets are looking to take that next step forward. Perhaps a backcourt of Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell can make it work.

Danny Small

The Brooklyn Nets are approaching their most pivotal offseason in a long time. The team has space to sign at least one max free agent, potentially two. Recently, Anthony Puccio of SNY reported that the Nets are considering pairing Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt.

“Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston,” Puccio wrote. “Irving’s camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.

“SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.”

This “mutual interest” is an interesting wrinkle in the upcoming offseason. Obviously, as Puccio notes, signing Durant should be the first option. Kawhi Leonard should be right in the same conversation with Durant.

However, after Durant and Leonard, Irving is among the next crop of desirable free agents. That being said, Russell and Irving would be an interesting pairing. They play similar styles and it would be difficult to envision Brooklyn playing above average defense with those two.

Although this backcourt pairing could backfire on Brooklyn, it’s far from a guaranteed failure. Irving and Russell are both ball-dominant guards, but they’re both All-Star caliber players. Oftentimes, acquiring talent is more important than finding the players who perfectly complement one another.

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