The Brooklyn Nets will hope to put their 2021-22 NBA season behind them. Despite being one of the favorites to not only advance to the NBA Finals but win them, the Nets failed to live up to those expectations.
The superstar duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant failed to win even a single game against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the postseason. This led to the Nets being the only team to get swept in the playoffs so far.
The aftermath of this poor postseason seems to be that the franchise might lose Kyrie or KD and in the worst-case scenario both their superstars in the upcoming offseason. It's already been reported that Kevin Durant hasn't talked to the Nets since getting swept in the first round.
Now NBA analyst Skip Bayless has suggested that Kyrie might leave the Nets due to how he was treated by the team over the course of the season.
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"All I know for sure is that, according to multiple reports, they're not happy with Kyrie Irving," Bayless said. "The strongest report said that they are outright unwilling to give Kyrie a long-term extension. Well, surely that has gotten back to Kyrie. Surely, he is well aware of that. He's a very proud young man. So, it's possible that in the next month he'll just say, 'Heck with you I'm out,' because he can opt outright, become an unrestricted free agent within the next month. Would he do that? Well, knowing Kyrie it's possible he would do that just because he's offended by the way he was treated last year.
Because I remind you, there was a flashpoint when they finally sent Kyrie home, and his best buddy, Kevin Durant, signed off on it, he blessed it. He said, 'Yep, let's go forward without it.' Not until later in the season. Did they crawl back to Kyrie as they were teetering and starting to lose? So, I believe, bottom line, Kyrie's decision to not get vaccinated wrecked that team last year in many ways, but it wrecked James Harden. He's out. KD, he seemed half-hearted about the rest of the season. They never got their legs back underneath them. They had other issues going on, but Kyrie was the issue.
And it sounded like it went all the way to the top to the owner, that they are close to being done with Kyrie, and I don't think they'd be really unhappy if he opted out and hit the free agency."
Heading into the 2022 offseason, Kyrie Irving has the ability to opt out of his player option and become a free agent. If he takes that step, it will most likely be the end of the partnership between him and KD.
Earlier, James Harden left the team and it must have frustrated Durant. Because once Harden left, it felt like KD was not giving his 100% for the team. This is not a shot at Durant as we understand his frustration.
But if the Nets want to win an NBA Championship, the most viable option would be that Kyrie signs a contract extension with the team, and Durant won't request a trade. Apart from that, they also have Ben Simmons, who will be healthy next season and can take the burden off the shoulders of KD and Kyrie.