Things have not gotten much better in Brooklyn these days and real concerns continue to loom over the futures of both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with the Nets.
More reporting over the weekend painted the picture of a growingly disgruntled superstar in Durant and talks with Irving that have taken a negative turn. All of it comes as the deadline for Irving to decide on his $36.9 million player option is only a few days away and the start of free agency is on the horizon.
The ongoing conversations between the Nets and Irving have become “acrimonious,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The NBA insider warned that the ramifications could extend beyond just Irving.
As the Irving drama has kicked into overdrive over the past week, so have murmurs that Durant could be unhappy with the situation and could look to go elsewhere. The Nets superstar has lost confidence in the team’s front office, according to The Ringer’s Logan Murdock.
“Now, you have reports that Kyrie is looking elsewhere. I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks,” Murdock said during a podcast appearance. “I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well.”
The pair leaving Brooklyn is the ultimate doomsday scenario for the Nets, who convinced the pair to come to Kings County in 2019 in pursuit of multiple NBA titles. So far in those three years, Brooklyn has fallen well short of its lofty goals including this year when the Nets were swept out of the playoffs in the first round.
Murdock also seemed to confirm previous reports that Durant has not been actively trying to recruit players in free agency as he has been known to do in the past.
Part of Durant’s unhappiness stems from how the organization has handled things with Irving, who missed a quarter of the season due to his refusal to get vaccinated. While Irving had very publically reaffirmed his desire to remain in Brooklyn, general manager Sean Marks was noncommital about the point guard’s future during his end-of-the-year press conference and appeared to question whether he was still a fit for the Nets.
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“(Durant’s) biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means,” Murdock said. “I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time. … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.'”
Additionally, teams are reportedly beginning to create contingency plans in the event that Durant does try to force his way out of Brooklyn. ESPN’s Zach Lowe said following the NBA Draft on Thursday that teams around the league were preparing plans to try and acquire Durant if he becomes available over the next “six or seven days.”