With just three days to go before Free Agency begins, the Kyrie Irving case is getting hotter and hotter. The rumors are linked, the possibility of a departure from Brooklyn is very real, and several scenarios are discussed. While waiting for the date of June 29, where we will know if Kyrie takes his player option or not at $36 million, zoom in on one of those scenarios. Perhaps the craziest…
$30 million. Do you know anyone who would be willing to sit on it for some reason? In any case, we have a candidate. Name: Irving. First name: Kirie. Profession: excellent basketball player but specialist in derailing beautiful projects. “At an impasse” with the Nets regarding his contract extension, Uncle Drew is either on the verge of achieving something we never thought we’d see in 2022, or he’s throwing his last guns into the battle to get the long-term extension he wants with the net. What is certain is that there is a scenario that is currently making more and more noise in the halls of the NBA. If it logically talks a lot about a potential sign & trade, or a post player option transfer (say more “classic” scenarios), the main insiders with the famous sources close to the League are talking more and more about a scenario where Kyrie Irving declines $ 36 million option to become a free agent, and sign in stride with the Lakers for the taxpayer mid-level exception (the only real possibility for the Lakers to recruit a free agent directly, they who are in the luxury tax), worth… six million greenbacks. Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned this possibility in his last paper on ESPN, adding that Kyrie is “really interested” in joining LeBron James in sunny Los Angeles. Same story on Sam Amick’s side of The Athleticwhile Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report indicates to him that the incredible scenario that has just been cited is gaining more and more credibility within the NBA. These various reports came out this Monday afternoon, while the New York Daily News shared similar impressions.
Sources with knowledge of the situation have increasingly believed Kyrie Irving’s willingness to opt out of Brooklyn, sign the $6M taxpayer midlevel with the Lakers, where Irving can re-sign long-term in 2023.
—Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 27, 2022
A week ago, these rumors were taken as leverage by the Kyrie clan to push the Nets towards the contract extension they seek. Playing with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn, near New Jersey where he grew up, seemed to remain the real priority for him. If this is perhaps still the case, we have the impression today that Kyrie could move in the coming days, and we would not even be surprised if he took the taxpayer mid-level exception to find the only man with whom he managed to exceed the second round of the Playoffs: LeBron. ‘Cause if there’s one player who can sit on $30 million, it’s Uncle Drew.. Let’s not forget we’re talking about someone who sacrificed 17 million last season by refusing to get a COVID shot, and whose unpredictability is arguably the number one feature aside from his killer crossover. Suffice to say that money is not always at the top of his priorities. Now, if we take the problem in the other direction, we can also say that these financial sacrifices make the scenario of an arrival at the Lakers for only six million dollars less credible. Leaving 30 million on the table after the 17 million for this season, it still stings a bit. Moreover, as Woj rightly mentioned a few days ago on ESPNKyrie is in the midst of a divorce from her outfitter Nike, which means millions of greenbacks are also about to go missing.
Belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began. https://t.co/Tp7ZIOXtvz
—New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 27, 2022
So clearly, we are not there yet. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving has his small list of teams he would potentially like to join if the adventure were to end with the Nets, namely the Lakers, but also the Clippers, the Knicks, the Mavs , the Sixers and the Heat. Uncle Drew has just requested and received permission from the Nets to seek a sign & trade, with the Brooklyn franchise no doubt wishing him luck in his quest. Unsurprisingly, there are not many people jostling at the gate, the Lakers being the only franchise potentially interested in the scenario of a transfer after signing a new big long-term contract. Problem for Kyrie, the Nets reportedly have no intention of working with the Los Angeles franchise, with any trade likely to include Russell Westbrook in the package.
In any case, no matter what happens in the days to come, the situation in Brooklyn seems increasingly unrecoverable. And inevitably, one wonders what impact all this will have on the future of Kevin Durant with the Nets. A departure from Kyrie without any valuable consideration could push KD to request his transfer, and here, on the other hand, we can expect to see the majority of NBA leaders call on general manager Sean Marks to try to acquire the services of one of the best players in the world for years to come, Durant being under contract for four more seasons. At the time of writing, the Slim Reaper has still not spoken to the front office in Brooklyn and we cannot be 100% sure at this time that he will request a trade. However, according to Brian Windhorst ofESPNthe Nets are reportedly hinting that they “would be willing to lose both Kyrie and KD” in the offseason rather than leave for a big mess like they did last season. Oooooh boy…
A word of advice, hang your seat belts because this off-season is likely to be completely crazy. Kyrie Irving potentially leaving for the Lakers, Kevin Durant who could go just behind, in short, it’s a magnitude 7.11 earthquake that could soon hit the NBA planet. Not sure we’re ready.
Text sources: The Athletic, ESPN, Bleacher Report, NY Daily News
The Nets are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, per @WindhorstESPN
Brooklyn would rather lose both stars ‘than go through what they went through last season’ pic.twitter.com/xetUG4Tk1V
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2022