Free Agency Day 1 Was Bonkers (Part 2)
The Warriors are not over yet
Loosing an NBA final can be a pretty devastating thing, especially devastating if you know you could have won those finals if only your team was fully healthy, especially devastating if possibly the best player in the NBA leaves your team after said finals.
After the 2019 finals many think the Warriors are done, their dynasty is over, I like to think otherwise. The Warriors' main problem last season was lack of depth, having to pay 4 all-stars the big bucks is no joke, especially when you consider how heavily the Warriors relied on bench depth before they had KD. If you have a healthy KD that lack of depth won't show, even with an injured KD and everyone else healthy it might not show, but that's a big if. If KD and any other player goes down for the Warriors they are just not the team they need to be to contend for a tittle. I am actually a firm believer that not having KD will make the Warriors a better team, we might get to see those Warriors everyone fell in love with years back, when they had the big three and the splash bros were doing their thing. Let's not forget how good the Dubs were without KD, they should still be Western conference favorites come next season.
Having said that, just yesterday, the Warriors signed D'Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn nets on a £117 million 4 year deal. While Russell doesn't seem like the clear fix the Warriors need, it could actually work out. Having two of the best guards in the league in Klay and Steph, it doesn't make much sense to even acquire another guard, let alone one of Russell's caliber who will demand starter minutes from the get-go. But knowing the way in which the Warriors operate it would be stupid to think this is a panic move, there must be a plan behind this signing. The Warriors and Steve Kerr are notorious for popularizing small ball play in the league. Kerr loves to innovate with his line-ups and playing three guards as starters shouldn't be too complicated for him to figure out, Russell doesn't seem like the craziest option and given his style he should fit perfectly alongside Steph and Klay, taking a primary ball handler role and allowing Steph and, primarily, Klay to play off-ball and around screens.
Speaking of Klay, the shooting guard extended his contract and will stay put for another 5 years in exchange of a healthy $190 million. In other news the Warriors also dealt Iggy to Memphis last night in order to clear up some cap space for next season.
The Nets win free agency
Well, the Nets decided to completely piss over the hopes and dreams of every New York Knicks fan and signed both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to deals on the same night, while also acquiring DeAndre Jordan on a $40 million 4 year contract.
Durant comes to Brooklyn for $161 million and 4 years, while Kyrie signed for $141 million and 4 years. While I do believe the Nets have got themselves in great position to contend in the East in two seasons (KD is out for next the season remember), they have also just signed two of, possibly, the biggest egos in the NBA, two players who are notoriously hard to deal with inside the locker room and who are not particularly unknowns to controversy.
We all remember how Kyrie spoke out against his own teammates in times of trouble. The guard decided to speak out his frustrations to the media and air the dirty laundry out in public instead of dealing with it privately. While his play is outstanding, Irving clearly lacks in leadership qualities as he is unable to rally his team behind him when they are not playing up to scratch. And we all know KD as his allergy for criticism. If he's going to play in Brooklyn under the scrutiny of New York media he's going to have to grow ticker skin. Durant's hurt ego is no joke though as ESPN's Marc J. Spears points out that the real reason KD left the Warriors was because "he felt like a distant second fiddle to Steph Curry". KD couldn't handle another player having more love than him and so he packed his bags and left.
We can't criticize Brooklyn for making the moves they have, but they better hope KD and Kyrie can put their egos aside and lead this team. This is their team now, but if they lead it like they have Golden State and Boston the Nets won't have a chance at the tittle any time soon.
The rest of the League
The rest of the league made some moves last night too you know.
Terry Rozier to the Hornets for $58 million over 4 years.
Trevor Ariza to the Kings $25 million 2 years.
Ricky Rubio to the Suns $51 million three years.
Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana for $85 million over 4 years.
JJ Redick to New Orleans $26.5 million 2 years.
Derrick Rose to the Pistons $15 million 2 years.
A full article on the Knicks coming soon. (The joke that they are)