The turn of events is the latest in the ongoing saga between the mercurial superstar and the Nets front office that has led to repercussions beyond just the point guard. Franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant has still not spoken with general manager Sean Marks yet this offseason, according to the report.
Chatter in NBA circles seems to suggest that Irving will not be in Brooklyn next season. It would be a massive disappointment for all parties if that ends up being the case considering how few games Irving and Durant got to play with one another.
A video of Irving at the BET Awards has also thrown another spotlight on the situation. Irving was asked by a COMPLEX reporter if he wanted to be a Brooklyn Net still, to which he smiled and pointed to the person standing next to him on the red carpet.
Irving responded via Instagram to the post by saying, “welcome to the ‘NEW MEDIA.'”
“When I smile like that, it means there’s more to the story,” Irving also wrote. “I’ll have my time to address things.”
We asked Kyrie if he still wanted to be a Brooklyn Net 👀 pic.twitter.com/QYYDajosJW
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) June 27, 2022
Irving had reportedly given the Nets a list of at least six teams that he’d like to go if a deal wasn’t able to be worked out in Brooklyn. Among them were the Los Angele Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks.
The limited cap space for several of those teams would make any sort of maneuver for Irving very tough without significant help. Even the Lakers, who have been linked to Irving because of the list and his connection to NBA superstar LeBron James, are limited in what they can do to acquire Irving.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that the Lakers were the only team planning to pursue a sign-and-trade with the Nets. Brooklyn doesn’t appear to be interested in any of the packages that the Lakers could offer, Wojnarowski reported.
Irving has until Wednesday to decide on what he would do with his player option for next season, but he could sign with LA if he opts out using their $6 million exception.
The situation has led to Kevin Durant feeling the need to think over his own future in Brooklyn and he could request a trade if it comes down to it. Durant will be in the first year of his four-year contract extension and teams have reportedly started to make contingency plans for if Durant hits the trade market.
Irving’s availability has been at the center of the issue between the Nets and Irving, who has appeared in just 103 regular-season games in the three years he has been in Brooklyn. Irving has dealt with injuries, but his absences due to non-injury-related issues have caused a stir.
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Last season Irving missed a quarter of the season because of his refusal to get vaccinated and comply with New York City’s vaccine mandates. His absence and the constant in and out of the lineup nature after the team did let him play road games only played a part in the Nets falling short of their championship goals.
Irving had said that he had wanted to remain in Brooklyn during his final press conference after Game 4, but the Nets and Marks took a much more conservative stance on his future when the Nets GM spoke with reporters in May.