If people were asked to guess at the start of the season whether Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant would be more likely to leave the Brooklyn Nets, most fans would say Irving. His well-known disagreements with the organization and underlying tension erupted in talks of leaving when he didn't get a new max deal, but he ended up exercising the player option in his current contract instead.
Ever since, the Los Angeles Lakers, who reportedly want Irving, have been linked with a trade for him that would potentially include Russell Westbrook. However, those talks have gone nowhere, with the Nets reportedly asking for more picks than LA is willing to hand over. And now the latest from Jake Fischer suggests that a deal might not end up happening at all.
“From my conversations with people in the league, seems pretty clear Kyrie’s accepting the fact that he is overwhelmingly likely to be back in Brooklyn.”
Reports like this have come from multiple sources in recent days, and it looks like signing the extension meant that Irving is willing to give it one more shot with the Nets. How Kevin Durant feels about it remains to be seen, but considering the asking price for him, he could also end up just staying with the Nets and giving it another go.
This comes after speculation again began when Irving chose to skip the Drew League game to instead help with Lakers coach Phil Handy's basketball camp. There is a mix of things being said in the media about where things lie between Irving and the organization and anything could still happen.
However, Irving staying and giving it a proper go next season could bode well for the Nets. If they can keep the 3 All-Stars, they have for another run and find a way to get them engaged, they could finally truly contend for the title as they have threatened to since acquiring Durant and Irving in 2019.