Kevin Durant has been the winner of the MVP award in the last two seasons, and he said this spring that he has been planning on what he’ll do with his money as a free agent this summer. Kyrie Irving and James Harden won’t be able to do the same, as the Nets are rumored to have interest in both players and will reportedly offer them more money than Brooklyn can.
This was a summer where everyone knew the Nets were going to be bad, but no one could have predicted at how bad they would be: they lost a franchise record 96 games and next year’s draft pick will be moved for nothing. If that isn’t a problem, then this is: the Nets have yet to sign any of their 3 best players for any of the 3 years they are under contract. It’s a miracle they even won 12 games, and the only reason they didn’t finish with a lower record is because of the pre-season injury to Kyrie Irving.
The Brooklyn Nets can’t catch a break in 2017. They are on the brink of being swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, have two of their best players being investigated by the league, and were also rumored to have been trying to get rid of another one of their stars, Kevin Durant.
The Brooklyn Nets’ power trio – James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – will make more than $120 million combined in the 2021-22 NBA season. In short, they can buy almost anything they want, except a sports franchise or a flight to space.
You can understand why any of these three, or any other high-paid superstar like LeBron James, would want to save their money if possible. However, the Nets’ attempts to help their three stars financially could have serious consequences for the franchise.
The Brooklyn Nets reportedly rented houses that stars like James Harden (standing) could use for their girlfriends and partners | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall while the Nets try to buy the championship, you’re out of luck. Unless you learn to turn into a werewolf.
Matt Sullivan didn’t become one of the bugs, but he wroteCan’t Knock The Hustleafter he spent the 2019-20 season on board with the Nets. While promoting the book, Sullivan talked about everything from Durant’s penchant for smoking marijuana to how the team handled the coronavirus pandemic.
Sullivan’s latest confession, which he recently shared on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, may prove to be the most important. He said a very senior Nets official told him the organization uses its own money to help players with all their off-court activities, including buying a house in California for a week for his girlfriend. Players could also bring women who were not their wives or girlfriends.
These guys don’t pay for much personal stuff themselves. So every week, the Nets’ finance team would come over and talk: OK, we thought we had it under control. We have to rearrange the budgets every week. And they said it’s just something new every time.
Sullivan did not specify which players on the team accepted the Nets’ offer, if any. At the time of publication, the Nets had not publicly responded to his allegations.
Of course, some basketball fans will scoff at the idea of the team using its own money to let players go away for a week with their girlfriends. However, the NBA does not necessarily share this jubilation.
According to NBC Sports, the current collective bargaining agreement limits the players’ compensation to the terms outlined in their uniform contracts. For example, the Nets couldn’t legally buy Irving a house in New Jersey. Of course, he could have used the money from his contract to buy a house.
As in any industry, there are grey areas and loopholes. To stay with the example of the house: The league might not be surprised if a Nets general manager moving from one New Jersey city to another sold his house to Irving for a reasonable price.
If the NBA launches an investigation against the Nets for circumventing the salary cap and using their own resources, as the team has reportedly done, the league could end up excluding the team from the draft. The NBA also has the power to void the contracts of players associated with circumventing the salary cap, although this is only a last resort.
Every action has a reaction and the research could apply to all professional sports federations. Players have power, yes, but perhaps the structure and degree of control they have or are given needs to be rethought.
Even after losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Nets enter the 2021-22 season as favorites to win their first championship.
Still, fans should be cautious about the extent to which the Nets can get real results with their current trio of Durant, Harden and Irving. They have all suffered injuries in recent years and the group has only played eight regular season games together this season. It didn’t help that Irving left the team at one point and missed the time to complete the COVID-19 protocol.
At best, this team will win an NBA Finals once, but will suffer the consequences for years to come. The Nets have traded several young players, including center Jarrett Allen, and dropped others to form a trio of experienced stars.
The worst case scenario, and perhaps the most realistic, is that the Nets don’t win the title. Durant and Irving will continue to struggle with injuries and the Nets will make the playoffs every year, but never get past the second round.
But at least these players and their girlfriends got to enjoy a weekend in California at the Nets’ expense. It would have been worth it, wouldn’t it?
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COMPARED TO: Brooklyn Nets make a subtle move that could prevent a repeat of their embarrassing playoff failures in 2021
Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving may make up one of the best trios in the NBA, but an alleged secret to their success has teams worried. According to a new report from ESPN, the Nets, Suns, and Mavericks respectively signed the trio to deals that were allegedly structured in such a way that the players would have an agreement to save money if a team is unable to make the playoffs.. Read more about nets last game and let us know what you think.
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