It was only a matter of time before the Brooklyn Nets joined the offseason drama.
After a shocking tumble to the East’s No. 7 seed this season, and an even more shocking first-round exit in a swift four games, the Nets aren’t sure if they’ll be able to keep their superstar duo together.
Kyrie Irving must decide whether or not he will opt into his $36.5 million player option with the organization this summer. The expectation was that he would take the money and work out an extension with the franchise he decided to join as a free agent in 2019, but The Athletic’s Shams Charania has now reported that the two sides have reached a standstill.
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.
All things considered, the fact Irving and the Nets have failed to see eye-to-eye on a future plan is not at all surprising. The seven-time All-Star is fresh off a season where he appeared in just 29 regular-season games due to his refusal to get vaccinated. This came one season after Irving played just 54 games and two seasons after he appeared in just 20.
While his production hasn’t gone down when on the floor, the unpredictable nature of his availability has brought up real doubts about whether he merits a max contract. If one thing is for sure, Irving’s sheer talent will garner significant interest across the free-agent market if he chooses to find a new home.
To that end, Charania has already reported the Lakers, Knicks, and Clippers have expressed interest in Irving’s services. Both the Lakers and Clippers would have to work out a deal via sign-and-trade, while the Knicks could theoretically open enough cap space to sign him outright.
Arguably a bigger story than Irving’s new team, though, would be the future of the Nets. Kevin Durant originally signed with the organization alongside Irving. With the departure of both James Harden and Irving in just a few short months, one would have to wonder if Durant could still see a path to victory with the franchise. If not, one of the NBA’s best players of the last decade could be on the move, and Brooklyn could be in a straight free fall.
Never a boring day in the NBA!
For more on the situation, make sure to check out Charania’s post below: