Kyrie Irving gives Nets sign-and-trade options if no deal goes through, Kevin Durant is reportedly weighing the future

Kyrie Irving gives Nets sign-and-trade options if no deal goes through, Kevin Durant is reportedly weighing the future

USATSI

Just when you thought the situation brewing in Brooklyn couldn’t get any more volatile, the Nets are suddenly in danger of losing their two remaining Superstars. Star point guard Kyrie Irving has been trying to negotiate a contract extension with the Nets for some time, but talks have reportedly reached an impasse. He has now given the Nets a list of teams he would be interested in joining via trade Adrian Wojnarowski. Kevin Durant, meanwhile, is said to be “monitoring the situation and considering options for his future,” according to the report Shine Charania.

Irving’s list of destinations includes six teams: the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers were seen as the most serious threat to Land Irving, and former teammate LeBron James would apparently be happy to see his former point guard again. The jump to the Knicks would allow Irving to remain in New York City. The Heat was on his list of favorite travel destinations when he asked the Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade in 2017. The 76ers would either offer a reunion with James Harden, the guard who forced his way out of Brooklyn last season, due in part to Irving’s reluctance to get vaccinated against COVID-19, or evict Harden from Philadelphia after the 76ers worked so hard to land it.

Durant is not known to have provided the Nets with a list of preferred trade targets, but his situation is very different from Irving’s due to his contract. Irving can retire from the final year of his contract and become a free agent within a week. Durant signed a four-year extension last offseason. That gives him a lot less clout to force a deal on a team of his choosing.

All of this represents a precipitous drop from the high position the Nets held last season as the undisputed championship favorite. With Irving, Durant and Harden, the Nets seemed poised to win multiple championships. Now they face the very real danger of entering the 2022-23 season with Ben Simmons as the face of their franchise. Even by the high standards of previous NBA offseas, this would rank among the craziest twists and turns in league history.

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