The journey of the Brooklyn Nets duo Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant may soon be ending, as Kyrie Irving's contract extension talks with the Brooklyn Nets stall. This has left the door open to Irving being traded away from the Nets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Kyrie missed most of the 2021-22 season due to his dispute with the vaccination mandate in New York, allowing him to just play away games. The mandate was eventually lifted, and Irving returned to the team full time. But after a troublesome year that saw the championship favorite Nets become the only team to get swept from the 2022 playoffs, it seems Irving cannot continue with the Nets being his team.
Irving has already been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks by The Athletic, stirring a whole new storyline to follow in the 2022 offseason. Irving has a player option for this season, which he could decline and walk in free agency. Or will the Nets trade him to get some value for the disgruntled star?
But one of the most anticipated free-agency situations involves Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, who has a June 29 deadline on his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season. However, multiple sources tell The Athletic that conversations about Irving’s future have gone stagnant between him and the Nets. An impasse currently exists among the parties that clears the way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open marketplace, those sources said.
Several teams across the league have kept tabs on the situation, wondering about the future of Irving and Brooklyn. The Lakers, Knicks and Clippers are expected to be among the interested suitors if Irving heads elsewhere, multiple sources tell The Athletic. (h/t Shams Charania)
Irving joined the Nets in the summer of 2019 alongside Kevin Durant. The first season was a throwaway year for the team, as they used their young core to make the Playoffs despite lengthy absences from Irving and Durant, who missed the entire year. The team added James Harden in 2021 but saw the star leave this season because of Irving's unavailability.
Irving's reported interest to either stay in New York or rejoin LeBron James in Los Angeles could be league-shifting. The Knicks can create the cap flexibility to sign Irving as a free agent and add him to their existing core. The Lakers will have to move Russell Westbrook's contract away from the team to make room for Irving, so could that make Brooklyn a possible destination for Russ in a forced sign-and-trade?
The 2022 offseason has gotten a lot more interesting with Irving's possible departure making him the biggest star available on the market. Question is, can the Nets bring Irving back to the table or is his departure a foregone conclusion? We will have to find out.