Kyrie Irving has been one of the most talked about players of the summer. His lack of a contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets set forth a whole motion of events which also led to Kevin Durant asking for a trade. While KD's situation may escalate into the star possibly holding out until he's traded, Kyrie has been content with the possibility of finishing the final year on his contract and leaving Brooklyn as a free agent.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been heavily linked to Irving, with some even suggesting he would have turned down his $37 million player option to take a mid-level exception with the Lakers. LA is still trying to trade for Irving and has offered both their available draft picks for the same.
It seems the Nets aren't budging, even though no other team would be offering 2 picks for Kyrie. They intend to keep him and work towards an extension, something that may pacify KD and turn his opinion on the franchise around.
"All-Star Kyrie Irving also opted into his $37 million player option, committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working out with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star, according to sources." (h/t The Athletic)
The Nets have made moves to improve the roster despite their stars wanting out of the team. They traded a pick to acquire Royce O'Neal and have also signed TJ Warren in free agency.
With a healthy Ben Simmons and a returning Joe Harris, the Nets could make a strong run with their existing core. The Nets would be smart to focus their attention on reaching a compromise with Kyrie and having him sign on the dotted line and match his contract with KD's that will expire in 2026.
If the Nets work through the issue with Irving, it'll be a massive win for them. With the lack of their draft picks, the Nets have no choice but to push for contention, and having Kyrie on the court will go a long way in making that dream come true.