August 18, 2022

Because the Brooklyn Nets had been swept within the first spherical of the playoffs, there have been questions on Kyrie Irving’s future with the group. With the 2 sides reportedly at an deadlock in contract negotiations, there are rumors Kevin Durant might probably be headed elsewhere this summer season.

The Nets have a priority that Durant might ask for a commerce if Irving doesn’t return to Brooklyn subsequent season, in accordance with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Irving has but to opt-in to the ultimate yr of his contract, and Brooklyn is reportedly unwilling to provide the purpose guard a max contract.

So long as Irving isn’t signed with the Nets for the 2022-23 season, there’s an opportunity that Durant might look to play elsewhere. It’s not unusual for superstars to out of the blue search trades, even whereas taking part in for a postseason contender. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and James Harden have all achieved so throughout the previous few years.

The chances of Durant and Irving splitting up, nevertheless, stay low. The Nets may not supply Irving a max contract, however it’s arduous to see him discovering one with one other group.

Solely a handful of groups have sufficient house to provide Irving a max deal. The guard isn’t anticipated to go away Brooklyn in free company to signal with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs or Orlando Magic.

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On Thursday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned on “Get UP!” that groups aren’t trying to clear salary-cap house with plans of signing Irving. Irving has maintained that he desires to remain in Brooklyn.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks have been linked to Irving as attainable suitors. These groups must purchase Irving through a sign-and-trade. If dropping Irving probably means dropping Durant, Brooklyn received’t comply with any such deal.

The Lakers are seen as the most important menace to lure Irving away from Brooklyn, in accordance with the NBA insiders. Windhorst speculated that it’s at the least attainable that Irving may contemplate leaving tens of tens of millions of {dollars} on the desk with a purpose to reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles.

That state of affairs stays a protracted shot. 

Durant signed a four-year extension earlier than the beginning of the 2021-2022 season. Brooklyn has Ben Simmons beneath contract for 3 extra years. If Durant, Simmons and Irving are a part of the Nets’ roster, Brooklyn might be the favourite to signify the East within the 2023 NBA Finals. 

Irving has till June 29 to select up his $36.9 million possibility.

Kyrie Irving (L) and Kevin Durant (R) of the Brooklyn Nets throughout a recreation towards the Boston Celtics within the 2021 NBA Playoffs on Could 30, 2021. Photograph: Getty Pictures/Nathaniel S. Butler

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