Nets' Kyrie Irving Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery for Shoulder Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 1: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the game against the Washington Wizards on February 1, 2020 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving underwent season-ending surgery on his shoulder Tuesday.

The Nets announced the procedure and said the arthroscopic surgery was needed to relieve a right shoulder impingement.

Irving joined the Nets in July in coordination with Kevin Durant to give the organization one of the NBA's most star-studded duos. The team's ascension into the league's elite was delayed, however, as both players were sidelined by injuries.

Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors, and Irving made just 20 appearances before the All-Star break because of the shoulder injury.

He played at an elite level when healthy, averaging 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per contest.

The silver lining for the Nets is the presence of Spencer Dinwiddie, a proven point guard who can handle a lion's share of the minutes running the offense for the rest of the season. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Theo Pinson and Chris Chiozza lead the group of other players who will continue to see more playing time in the backcourt.

Ultimately, it was always viewed as a transition year for Brooklyn while letting Durant get back to full strength for a potential championship push in 2021. Irving's surgery further cements that outlook, though it tempers expectations for the remainder of the current campaign.

Brooklyn is eighth in the Eastern Conference at 26-33, and it holds a four-game lead over the Washington Wizards for the final playoff spot in the East.

Provided the Nets manage to hang on to the eighth seed or move up to seventh, a first-round exit against the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics seems likely.

Provided both Irving and Durant are both healthy for next season, though, the Nets may be a threat to go all the way in the Eastern Conference.