Brooklyn could have two All-Stars in its backcourt next season.
Members of Nets brass believe Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell could coexist, according to a report from the New York Post.
Irving, 27, has a player option for the 2019-20 season and could leave the Celtics to become a highly sought after free agent this summer. Russell, 23, replaced the Pacers’ injured Victor Oladipo and made his All-Star debut in February. He will become a restricted free agent this summer.
Kevin Boyle, the only man to coach both players is confident the ball-dominant guards could mix well. He coached Irving at St. Patrick High School in New Jersey before helping Russell win two national titles at Montverde Academy.
“I one thousand percent think that could work. D’Angelo knows Kyrie, likes him, respects him. That could work with both sides. Kyrie could help D’Angelo to that top-10, top-15 level,” Boyle said. “I could see that blending together nicely. Not everybody fits with everybody. I don’t know why in Boston the things didn’t fit (for Irving), but it could fit there.
“They could play together, because both are guys who can score, get their shot own shot, yet both are outstanding passers and spray the ball around.”
Irving averaged 23.8 points, five rebounds and 4.9 assists in his third consecutive All-Star season in 2018-19. His Celtics fell to the top-seeded Bucks in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals while Russell’s Nets were eliminated by the 76ers in the first round.
Pairing these two is not Brooklyn’s only option though, as it is expected to make a run at top free agents like Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. Nevertheless, it appears like the Nets have a variety of options they are willing to explore.