The Nets are playing winning basketball even without Irving’s services, but the team’s title hopes would gain a huge boost if the seven-time All-Star were to return to the floor.
In an interesting development, it sounds like the idea of Irving returning this season has gained some “optimism.”
“There is renewed optimism around Irving returning to the Nets this season, sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic,” wrote Shams Charania.
“It remains unclear whether Irving’s potential return this season would come via vaccination to meet New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement or by Brooklyn opening the door for him to play road games and practice at home, but sources have indicated a renewed belief that Irving could play this season after all. Nets players and coaches want to have Irving rejoin the team as soon as possible. In recent weeks, Irving and Kevin Durant, his co-star and close friend, have had increased communication about his fit on the team, breaking down the games, and about life in general, sources added. There appears to be an increased level of enthusiasm between the two superstars.”
The Nets already have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but if Irving were to return in any capacity, they’d become an even more intimidating squad.
Irving averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per contest in the 2020-21 season. He knocked down 50.6 percent of his shots from the field and 40.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
Time will tell if he sees game action for the Nets this season. It seems like there are still a lot of questions that would need to be answered before the 29-year-old’s potential return.