Due to injury, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving only played 20 regular-season games in his first season with the Nets. In his three seasons with the Nets, Irving has appeared in 45.6 per cent of their games. Despite his poor performance records, Irving regards himself as one of the game’s elite, an All-NBA skillful performer with excellent shot creation.
As a result, it’s understandable that the Nets are hesitant to commit to Irving long-term because he hasn’t shown a level of dedication to the franchise. To make matters more complicated for the Nets, there are reports that teammate Kevin Durant may consider his options in Brooklyn if Irving leaves and demands a trade.
“I’m told that Kevin Durant has not told the Nets that if Kyrie Irving leaves, that means he’s going to ask for a trade,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke live from the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on Thursday afternoon.
The big question is whether the Nets can find a happy medium to stay together.
Irving has until June 29 to decide whether to exercise the $36 million option for next year. He wants a longer contract, but he’s only played 103 regular-season games since arriving due to personal leaves, injuries, and vaccine refusals, owing to his unpredictability and unavailability. The Nets are almost certainly going to try to protect themselves by only providing him with the full five-year agreement.
The question now is how likely Durant will retire with the Nets. His loyalty was always greater to Irving than to the agency. Irving’s unbreakable bond with Durant threatens to derail the roster’s dismantling. Bet on the Nets or any NBA team at these basketball betting sites.
Durant has been deafeningly quiet on the subject, raising the question of whether his silence is related to Irving’s contract status or something else. There’s a lot of speculation that a dissatisfied Durant isn’t promoting his team, and that the next step is for him to ask out.
However, it’s also reasonable to assume that if Irving became a free agent and left or was forced to sign a sign-and-trade agreement. It’s far more likely than a deal with either team in Los Angeles.
Sean Marks’ moves the past few years
Nets general manager Sean Marks has made decisions within a day or two of the draft since his arrival in 2016. He’ll have to work extra hard to keep his winning streak going without a first- or second-round pick and no money to buy one.
After only two months on the job, Marks bought and sold Thad Young to Indiana for Caris LeVert’s rights. Two days before the 2017 draft, the Nets traded Brook Lopez and the 27th pick for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.
It was moving Mozgov and picks for Dwight Howard, who was waived the day before the draft the following year. Marks then traded the rights to Mfiondu Kabengele in 2019 for Jaylen Hands and a 2020 first-round pick, allowing Durant and Irving to use the second max spot.
A three-team deal in the 2020 draft brought in Bruce Brown and Landry Shamet. On draft night 2021, Shamet was traded for the first-round pick that became Day’Ron Sharpe.
He is also famously known for his statement that he wants players who can “be available,” resulting in a stalemate over Irving’s potential contract extension.