— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) August 17, 2019
The Brooklyn Nets underwent an incredible rebuild after the disastrous 2013 trade that saw them ship almost all of their future assets to the Celtics. The fact that their playoff drought only lasted 3 seasons is pretty incredible when you think about it. With Kyrie, the Nets will get their first superstar in what feels like forever. Whether he can lead a team to a championship is questionable, but his individual talent is undeniable. The Nets will likely treat this year as a gap year while they wait for Durant to recover, so it’s unlikely they’ll be contenders. Still, with Kyrie on the team, they should be enjoyable to watch at the very least.
Kyrie Irving Fantasy Stats
Kyrie, despite all the drama he created last year, still put up some pretty impressive individual numbers. He’s always been extremely skilled, with his elite ball handling, finishing, and shooting making him one of the most lethal scorers in the league. Although many attribute the Celtics’ struggles last year to Kyrie, it’d still be unfair to blame him completely. It did feel like some of the younger guys were unwilling to sacrifice or accept lesser roles, and that led to some disconnect on the court. It’s possible that on the Nets, Kyrie will cause less trouble as there’ll probably be less conflict over roles. If Kyrie can have a full season with no distractions, he might turn in a better season than people expect. His ceiling is a season where he averages 26 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals a game.
There’s a reason that people are skeptical about Kyrie led teams, as the furthest he’s gone without Lebron is the conference semifinals. Although he’s improved, a problem a lot of people have is that aside from scoring, he really doesn’t provide much else. That being said, how he might negatively affect the locker room isn’t as important in fantasy as you might expect. He’s always been individually productive, which sets a pretty high floor for his fantasy value. It’s possible the locker room problems he creates can hurt his play a little, but he should still easily be one of the better scorers in the league. A bigger issue is his health problems. He’s always had problems with his knee, and though he still plays great when healthy, he’s missed 37 games the past two years. His floor is a 23 point per game, 4 rebound per game, 5 assist per game, and 1 steal per game season, and one where he misses an extended period of time from an injury.
What to Expect
Kyrie Irving is currently ranked as the 6th best point guard in fantasy and the 21st best player overall. He’s expected to be drafted in the 2nd round and has an auction value of $32. Just like in real life, Kyrie will likely be drafted as the main sidekick on a fantasy team. And just like in real life, he should be one of the best second options in fantasy, assuming he can stay healthy. As it stands, Kyrie appears to be properly valued. Concerns that he might miss an extended stretch of time rightfully bring his value down a bit, but when he does play, he should provide more than satisfactory production for his role.
That Kyrie Irving would even consider the Nets is something that would seem laughable as recently as a year ago. But here we are. The Nets will likely be a force for years to come but it’s hard to imagine them going anywhere past the second round this year. There’s reason to be optimistic that Kyrie will get along better with Brooklyn’s young core than Boston’s. First of all, the young core of the Nets will likely be more willing to take a backseat than the ones on the Celtics. The furthest they’ve gotten was a 4-1 loss in the first round, so they’ll likely appreciate Kyrie more. Secondly, Kyrie will have Durant on the team. Even if he doesn’t play this year, he should be a calming influence on Kyrie that can keep him in line. I personally think Kyrie will be much less quiet off the court this season and just as good on it. I predict a season where he averages 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal a game.
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