Kyrie Irving is likely on the move.
The Nets rightfully don’t want to give him long-term money even if that means potentially losing Kevin Durant in the process.
According to WOJ, Kyrie has given the Nets a list of teams he is willing to be traded to.
If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help.
Those are teams that Irving has an interest in, but he isn’t necessarily a priority for all of them, sources said.
Here is where it gets tricky with Kevin Durant.
Kyrie Irving’s search for leverage on his contract discussions with the Brooklyn Nets won’t be found with the threat of a $30 million pay cut to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the sum of the franchise’s deepest fears: Irving walks, and Kevin Durant wants a trade.
For everything owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks did to assemble one of the modern NBA’s most talented Big 3s, Irving’s impenetrable connection to Durant looms as a domino to the dismantling of the roster. Brooklyn is straddling the narrowest of walkways: Keeping conviction on Irving’s contract talks and keeping Durant’s desire to stay a Net.
The organization clearly wants Irving on a shorter deal, whether it’s his $36 million opt-in for the 2022-23 season — or perhaps an opt-out and new deal that could give him a raise to $42 million annually on a two-year deal.
In previous offseasons, rival agents and players would tell you of Durant’s eagerness in talking to potential free agents. So far, that hasn’t been the case with him, sources say. Outside of Irving, the Nets’ most important free agent is guard Patty Mills, who still hasn’t decided whether to exercise his $7.2 million player option. Around the Irving drama, the Nets’ environment has made it harder to keep and court role players, sources say.
Ever since Kyrie hit the game-winning three over Steph Curry in NBA Finals it has been downhill for him, so we will have to see if the next team is potentially the one that he can make it back to promise land to.
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