Kyrie Irving: Nets Have 'Glaring' Needs Beyond Durant


Nets fans are counting down the days until Kevin Durant finally suits up in black and white, hoping he will lead the team to an NBA championship.

Kyrie Irving, however, indicated Wednesday night that he believes Durant won't be enough. 

Asked after a 117-106 loss to the 76ers about what it would take for the Nets to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference, Irving said Brooklyn needs to add one or two more key contributors beyond Durant.

"I mean, it’s transparent," he said. "It's out there. It's glaring, in terms of the pieces that we need in order to be at that next level. I'm going to continue to reiterate it. We're going to do the best with the guys that we have in our locker room now, and we'll worry about all the other stuff, in terms of moving pieces and everything else, as an organization down the line in the summer. It’s just something that we signed up for.

Nets guard Kyrie Irving dribbles in front of 76ers guard Ben Simmons on Jan. 15, 2020, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.  Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Images

"We knew what we were coming into at the beginning of this season. Guys were going down left and right. (Garrett Temple) is out, (DeAndre Jordan) just got hurt, Wilson (Chandler) just came back. We've got complementary young guys as well that have done a great job the last three years. Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, KD (Kevin Durant), DJ (Jordan), GT (Temple), Spence (Spencer Dinwiddie), Caris (LeVert), and we'll see how that evolves."

The Nets are 18-22 and in eighth place in the East. In addition to the absences Irving cited, the star point guard himself has played in just three games after missing two months with a shoulder injury. 

Upgrading the roster won't be easy for general manager Sean Marks. The Nets already face paying a luxury tax next season if they keep their 12 players with guaranteed salaries and fill out the roster with other players on minimum-salary deals. They would likely have to turn to the trade market to fill any holes.