Kevin Durant’s right Achilles injury has thrown a wrench into free agency. But whether it’s Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris or Jimmy Butler, the Nets are confident they’ll land a star this summer.
“We have two spaces for two max deals, right? So, I mean they will definitely add some star and for sure will make the team bigger and better,” Nets forward Rodions Kurucs told The Post from the Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp in Latvia. “I hope he will teach us young guys some things what he has been through, and tell some stories we can learn from. That will definitely just be better for our team.”
The Nets got that space — $68 million if they renounce D’Angelo Russell, $46 million even with his cap hold — by forking over two first-round picks last week to clear Allen Crabbe’s contract off the books.
Considering Nets general manager Sean Marks’ meticulous nature, that level of investment strongly implies a promise from a star. Or two.
With almost no chance to get Kawhi Leonard, and Marks loath to gut his team in a deal for the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Nets’ optimal scenario was teaming Durant with Irving, who even reportedly flew to the Bay Area to recruit Durant to Brooklyn. But that may well be out the window.
Durant was in New York on Tuesday for evaluation by a specialist. While the Nets (and everybody else) likely would still hand him a four-year, $141 max deal even knowing he’ll miss next season, he could opt-in and remain with Golden State for another season as he rehabs.