While Kyrie Irving has until Wednesday to decide on his $36.5 million player option, he and the Nets have yet to progress on a possible contract extension.
Contract talks are trending in the opposite direction, with Irving’s camp reportedly requesting and receiving permission to pursue sign-and-trade packages with other teams, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
Winfield also reported that Nets star Kevin Durant and GM Sean Marks have not spoken this offseason, according to “multiple sources familiar with the situation.” According to Winfield, players and coaches around the League now believe that Irving will not play for the Nets next season.
Irving, who played in 103 regular-season games in three seasons with the Nets, listed the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, 76ers, Heat, and Mavericks as teams he would be interested in playing for if he couldn’t agree to a deal with Brooklyn, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: 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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
However, Wojnarowski has since reported that the Lakers are the only team actively looking to pursue Irving and that Brooklyn is not interested in any Laker’s trade packages. Irving would be eligible to sign with the Lakers for a $6 million exception if he were to turn down his $36.5 million player option with Brooklyn.
Irving’s three-year tenure with the Nets has been anything but smooth, as the seven-time All-Star was deterred by a shoulder injury in his first year with Brooklyn, missed games due to personal reasons in year two, and only played in 29 regular-season games last season after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Irving being granted permission to seek sign-and-trade packages comes four days after Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Durant is contemplating his future with the Nets as uncertainty around Irving continues to develop. Durant currently has four years remaining on his $194 million contract and would have to request a trade if he were to want out of Brooklyn.
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