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Here’s why Kevin Durant wants no part of Kyrie Irving’s negotiation with the Nets

However you look at it, the Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of a very problematic situation where the future of their two stars is concerned.

Here’s why Kevin Durant wants no part of Kyrie Irving’s negotiation with the Nets
Ethan MillerAFP

In what is quickly becoming ‘the’ story of the offseason, the Nets two stars appear to be weighing up their options, but one of them has made it clear he wants no part of the conversation concerning his teammate.

What’s going on between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets?

While the 2022 NBA Draft has understandably been a focal point for most news outlets in recent days, there is one scenario that has been developing behind the scenes and quite rapidly at that. As we all know by now, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have arrived at an impasse over his contractual situation. Add to that the fact that free agency starts in less than a week - June 30th to be precise - and you’ve got yourself the making of a dramatic saga at the least.

So what are the details in this one? To be clear Irving has a few days until June 29th, the deadline by which he has to make a decision on his $36.5 million player option for next season. Now while it remains true that failure to pick up the option and an entry into free agency wouldn’t automatically mean that Irving leaves, with the previously mentioned impasse - over his desire for a full max deal - it seems unlikely that the Nets would suddenly reverse their position. This is after all a player who has been deemed ‘unreliable’ in recent seasons. The situation becomes even more uncertain when considering the idea that Irving recently gave the Nets a list of preferred trade destinations. That, however, is where we come to the base of the situation that the Nets face and that is Kevin Durant.

How does Kevin Durant factor into Kyrie Irving’s future?

First and foremost it should be said that it was in fact Kevin Durant, who was one of the main driving forces behind the construction of a would be ‘super team’ in Brooklyn. With the close friendship between Irving and himself well documented, it would now appear that the Nets are facing a decision that could have consequences that are two fold. Should Irving choose to depart the franchise via free agency, it may well be that Durant decides to push for an exit as well. Granted a lot would have to happen in order for that to occur, so there is no need for alarm bells just yet, but rest assured there in trouble brewing in Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant doesn’t want involvement in Irving’s negotiation

Friends or not, one thing Durant recently made clear is that although he would rather have Irving alongside him, he has no intention of pushing things either one way or the other when it comes to his teammate’s situation.“It’s no involvement at all. I can’t be involved with it,” Durant said. “This is this man’s livelihood. This is much bigger than me. Being a free agent, it’s one of the most important times in your career. That can’t be swayed by anybody else. I just do me and wait for the time. There’s nothing that can happen right now. I don’t think he can even make a decision on opting out until the 29th, I think. I just let things play out and see what happens, but keep the regular contact up with Ky and see what happens. It’s something that’s so much out of my control that I don’t want to be a part of it. We’ll see what happens though. ...That’s where I’m at with it. Basketball is obviously the most important thing but I try not to let that get in the way of somebody else’s personal decision. Like I said, whatever happens, the friendship will still be there.

What next for Kyrie Irving?

If in fact Kyrie Irving does opt to leave the Nets, one thing that is assured is that the list of teams vying for his signature will be long. From the New York Knicks to the Los Angeles Lakers and many in between, Irving’s skill set is known the league over so it would be wise to watch this space. The Nets are of course hoping it won’t come to that. Understandably, Brooklyn will be banking on the notion that there are few teams out there who have enough cap space to take on Irving. Indeed, as things stand the point guard would have to take a significant salary cut in order to facilitate a move elsewhere.

Regardless, it remains clear that all options are possible at this point and with the unpredictable nature of Irving himself, it would be best to air on the side of caution before making any assumptions about what happens next. That being said, what is highly likely is that there will be another twist or two in this one before one of the offseason’s biggest stories comes to an end.


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