Weeks after sending in his trade request, Kevin Durant remains a Brooklyn Net with his co-star, Kyrie Irving.
Despite immense pressure to make a deal, the Nets have yet to find an offer they like and could end up holding on to both of their stars by the time the new season begins in October.
In a recent article, Jovan Buha of The Athletic released a brand new update on the situation and explained the outlook for Irving's future.
There are few givens in the NBA, so I would hesitate to label it as such. But all indications are that the Lakers are Irving’s top destination if he leaves Brooklyn, whether it’s via a trade between now and the February 2023 trade deadline, or in free agency next summer, when Westbrook’s salary will be off the Lakers’ books.
If Irving remains in Brooklyn next season along with Durant, I think it would take a disastrous outcome – like losing in the first round, as you suggested – for the tandem not to remain with the Nets long term. That said, there are even fewer certainties with Irving than the average superstar, so even that might be too bold of a claim. He could easily change his mind next summer and sign with the Lakers or another team.
But considering the lack of current league-wide interest in acquiring him via trade, it seems like the Lakers are his most likely free-agent option next summer, other than the Nets. There’s also the uncertainty with LeBron James’ future, which we may gain clarity on this week since he is eligible to sign a contract extension on Aug. 4.
By all accounts, nothing has changed about Irving's desire to suit up for the Purple and Gold. At the first chance he gets, he will likely be headed straight for L.A.
Until then, though, Kyrie might have to make things work for at least one more season with Kevin Durant in New York City. While there isn't much hope of faith in what they can accomplish together moving forward, their time together isn't over yet.
And if they really do end up playing together again in the 2022-23 campaign, it could lead to a restored commitment to Brooklyn.