Kyrie Irving named six other places he’s willing to play next season as negotiations with the Brooklyn Nets have turned “acrimonious” per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
However, many of those teams are not reciprocating Irving’s interest other than the Los Angeles Lakers, who could afford to take on Irving but at $30 million less than the Nets are paying him.
“The interest isn’t mutual in several of these places,” Woj said. “Obviously the Lakers are the ones that loom. And will Kyrie Irving walk away from a $36.9 million player option that he can opt into and have that money guaranteed, especially after a year where he lost about $17 million by not being vaccinated last year and untold more with a sneaker deal that isn’t going to be there anymore, certainly at the level it was.”
Brooklyn was favored to win it all before the 2021-22 season, but now, not only do the Nets risk the possibility of losing Irving, they risk losing Kevin Durant as well.
“I think that’s the concern when you look at not only Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn but also Kevin Durant’s future and whether they can hold this thing together,” Woj said on ESPN’s NBA analysts.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe is reporting that teams are discussing the possibility of Durant asking for a trade in the next few days.
“Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but ‘we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days,” said Lowe on the Lowe Post podcast.
The Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic have already started recruiting Durant via social media.
The Brooklyn Nets finished 44-38 in the regular season before losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round 4-0.
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise his $36 million player option with the Nets.