The entire saga with the Brooklyn Nets seeing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving want out of the team 3 years after signing with the squad seems to have kicked off when Joe Tsai refused to sign a contract extension with Irving in June.
The Nets were unwilling to offer him a long-term max contract with his availability issues and as a result, Durant wanted out, knowing Irving won't be a part of the long-term plan in Brooklyn.
NBA Insider Ric Bucher was hosting his 'On The Ball' podcast and revealed some very interesting points of conflict between Kyrie Irving and Joe Tsai during Kyrie's contract extension talks. Kyrie wanted it written into his contract that he won't have to play more than 60 games a season and would be allowed to sit out of 'inhumane' back-to-back matchups.
"Joe Tsai has already shown he’s willing to play hardball with Kyrie by taking a max extension off the table almost immediately. Now, part of that may be Kyrie’ doing. I’m told he wanted his new contract to guarantee he wouldn’t have to play more than 60 games in a season and would not have to play any back the backs which he apparently referred to as inhumane. (h/t HoopsHype)
The one thing people don't trust Irving with is his availability. It would be extremely foolish for the Nets to give him a long-term max under conditions like that. These demands should be a red flag for interested teams in Kyrie, as a deal like this would mean their star player isn't available for large chunks of the season.
Load management is nothing new and we have seen the likes of Kawhi Leonard have similar restrictions on playing time over the season. However, Kawhi is extremely injury-prone and needs to be protected, which isn't the same case for Kyrie. If what Bucher said is true, the Nets may be dodging a bullet by not extending Irving with such demands after his unavailability for the team over the last 3 seasons.