By Sterling Bennett, lead writer at BushLeagueSports
Who needs to wait till 3 pm to set off fireworks and kickoff the 2019 NBA Free Agency?
Apparently, no one got the memo as ten players have already put their name on the dotted line but none more prevalent than Kevin Durant.
It was supposed to be the New York Knicks’ offseason. Durant, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson were predestined to guide the Knicks back relevancy and the top of the NBA.
Well, the basketball gods gave New York a massive middle finger-at least Knicks fans. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving joined in on the fun as the two shocked the world Sunday afternoon.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will sign four-year deals with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant’s deal is said to total $161 million with Irving’s sitting at $141 million.
Sources: Durant will sign a 4-year, $164M deal with the Nets; Irving will sign 4-years, $141M.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Not only did the Nets sign two of the three of the biggest free agents on the market, but Brooklyn also snagged veteran DeAndre Jordan.
While the move has been already reported, Durant is expected to make an official announcement on The Board Room Instagram account. Woj reports while Durant’s camp will not confirm the move, they say “details will be revealed at 6 pm.”
Wojnarowski also reports that Kevin Durant and business manager Rich Kleiman made it clear to the Warriors’ organization he would not be returning and also informed all other teams today of his decision.
Kevin Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman met with Warriors GM Bob Myers Sunday in New York and delivered him the news on the decision to leave Golden State, league sources tell ESPN. Rest of teams were informed later this today. Teams thought process was forthright.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
A new super team is in formation with the newly acquire Durant and Irving. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait an entire year before Durant and Irving can take the floor together.
Durant will take the rest of the year and all of the 2019-’20 season to recover from a torn Achilles suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Despite the injury, Irving and Brooklyn’s front office recruited Durant in the early stages of the offseason. The seeds were planted early for a Durant and Irving pairing as the two could be seen talking in the arena tunnel during the 2019 All-Star Game.
When asked about the conversation, Irving scoffed at the question, but one has to assume their offseason plans were being discussed by the way he responds.
Whether discussed or not, the Nets now are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference in 2020 when Durant returns.
Here is Durant’s official statement regarding his free agency decision.