Retired New York Knicks enforcer Charles Oakley believes the Brooklyn Nets essentially won the jackpot this summer.
Charles Oakley, on the Nets' July: "They hit the Mega Millions and the Powerball."
— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) July 14, 2019
The Nets signed superstar forward Kevin Durant at the onset of free agency along with Kyrie Irving to serve as his running mate. The contracts are for $164 million and $142 million, respectively. Both are four-year deals.
Oakley has a point. If Durant is the Mega Millions, then Irving must be the Powerball. Just one year ago, the Nets were coming off of a 28-win season and there was still plenty of uncertainty around Brooklyn.
The Nets ultimately lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs last season, but the surprise playoff appearance helped establish the Nets as a viable option for Durant and Irving.
Now they could be a contender in the East for years to come with the talent on their roster.
The only concern is if Durant will be the same player when he returns from injury. He previously suffered a ruptured Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals while still a member of the Golden State Warriors. Durant will be out for the most of the 2019-20 season, if not the entire year.
If Durant’s able to be as dominant as he was before the injury, other organizations in the East should be on the lookout for Brooklyn.