Wednesday morning, we thought we'd hit two of the bigger stories of the NBA this week with guest, Jared Weiss of The Athletic. First, his great feature this week on how COVID-19 has hit the NBA hard, forcing cancellations and changes in the league's virus protocols. Are they giving enough attention to the possibilities of on-court transmission between players? And while we had him, we figured we'd talk a little Kyrie Irving, currently on what is being described as personal leave with the Nets. Weiss, after all, covered Irving in Boston
Then... James Harden was shipped from Houston to Brooklyn. So change of plans!
We break down the trade, asking all the important questions:
-What was your initial reaction when the news dropped?
-Can Brooklyn integrate three gigantic talents who are also three potentially challenging personalities? What about playing style? Can Harden change his game enough to fit in alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie?
-Is Kyrie coming back anytime soon? Does the trade make it more likely or less that he'll get back quickly? Were the Nets hedging against him perhaps not coming back at all?
-How valuable could those draft picks be for Houston? Potentially, very. And even if things go well for Brooklyn, Weiss says, some of those draft assets near the end of the deal (2024-27) could be very valuable.
Finally, we get back to focus on his excellent COVID breakdown. The league has already cancelled eight games this week. Where did this all start? Is there anything the league can really do to stop it, short of stopping the games? (Which, it should be noted, wouldn't necessarily prevent the virus from spreading among players.)