Nets Land "Greatest Haul In Free-Agent History"

The Nets, who have one 50-win season since 1977, landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on Sunday

Taz and the Moose
July 01, 2019 - 9:03 am
Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving

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The first free-agent dominoes fell Sunday, with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant will reportedly sign a four-year contract worth $164 million, while Irving will reportedly sign a four-year deal worth $141 million.

“I’ve been covering the league since 1987, and I’ve never seen anything at all like what happened yesterday,” SiriusXM NBA Radio host and Sporting News NBA reporter Mitch Lawrence said on Taz & The Moose. “I was thinking, ‘If (the Nets) get Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, it’s got to be the greatest free-agent haul in history.’ And people were like, ‘Wait a minute. What about Miami with LeBron and Bosh?’ I said, ‘That’s an organization that had won a title. That’s an organization that had Dwyane Wade, a Finals MVP. That’s an organization that was run by Pat Riley.’ I still put this one above it because what have the Nets done in their NBA history?”

Answer: Not a whole lot. The Nets reached the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2003, but have just one 50-win season since 1977.

“They’ve gone to two Finals, but they’ve never had a haul like this,” Lawrence said. “Have they ever landed a marquee free agent? No. And to get two yesterday – I know Kevin Durant is injured, and we’re going to have to find out what he’s all about after a year that he’s off. I still think this has to be the greatest haul in free-agent history.”

And it was a crushing blow for the New York Knicks. In March, James Dolan said the Knicks would have a successful free-agent offseason. Well, it doesn’t appear that will be the case.

“I don’t know what happened,” Lawrence said. “But that whole storyline that they didn’t offer the max – I’m sure James Dolan was at the front of the line to get a Kevin Durant and whatever it would take. He would have Kevin Durant gladly. At one point, Kevin Durant honestly wanted to play with the Knicks. He was thinking about that seriously. So between that and James Dolan, we know that he’s about stars and celebrities in the Garden. Of course he’s going to want Kevin Durant. When that all changed for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, I do not know.”

Irving, 27, was raised in New Jersey and grew up a diehard Nets fan. He was 10 years old when the Nets reached the Finals in 2002.

“The Knicks couldn’t overcome that,” Lawrence said of Irving’s love for the Nets. “The Kevin Durant thing is perplexing, though. That’s just a major move that kind of goes all against conventional wisdom. But at the same time, here’s what it tells you: the culture of the Brooklyn Nets versus the Knicks, it’s not even a comparison.”

Click below to listen to Lawrence’s interview in its entirety.