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Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It’s all over but the signing. In a series of tweets early Saturday evening, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kyrie Irving is in New York to sign his new contract with the Nets. And he added, with Irving’s arrival, D’Angelo Russell will now depart the team he led to the NBA playoffs.

The Nets are expected to announce Irving’s new deal shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday when free agency begins. They will then turn their attention to signing the second —and bigger— star in what they hope will be a Dream Summer, Kevin Durant. Durant will meet with the Nets as well as the Knicks, Clippers and his current team, the Warriors in New York over the next few days.

Marc Stein said that while Irving’s signing is important, even crucial, to the Nets pursuit of KD, Durant has said he can’t be recruited.

The 27-year-old, who was a Nets fan as a child in New Jersey, will become at once the highest paid Nets player ever, their biggest free agent signing ever and the first All-NBA player to join the franchise since the Nets traded for Deron Williams nearly a decade ago.

Irving is also the Nets most accomplished player since Jason Kidd, with an NBA championship, Olympic and FIBA World Cup gold medals, six all-Star appearances and two All-NBA selections, including this year. He won his NBA ring and Olympic gold medal within a matter of two months in 2016. Only three other players —his then teammate LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen— had done both in the same year. He followed that up with the 2017 FIBA World Cup title, winning the MVP.

Last year, in an admittedly disappointing second season with the Celtics, Irving averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds and shot 48/40/87. Many in Boston blamed Irving for the Celtics limited success, but in recent weeks, there’s been a rethinking of that notion as more information comes available.

Moreover, the signing will mark yet another milestone in the extraordinary rebuild engineered by Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson and financed by owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Joe Tsai. When Marks took over the Nets in February 2016, Brooklyn had just come off a 21-win season and had no first round draft picks of its own through 2019 and no second rounders at all through 2021. Only three players on the roster— Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic— were legitimate NBA players and Marks traded all three of them for draft picks or younger players.

Since then, the Nets have made steady progress, from a league worse 20 wins in 2016-17, 28 in 2017-18 and 42 —and a sixth seed in the playoffs— this season. The signing and possible addition of Durant is also a blow to the Nets crosstown rivals. Only two months ago, most pundits believed KD and Kyrie would wind up at Madison Square Garden.

Meanwhile, the Nets are moving to cut ties with D’Angelo Russell, one of the players Marks acquired in his series of trades and who led the team this year. Woj reported...

Both the Timberwolves and Lakers are expected to recruit DLo. The Lakers, who unceremoniously dropped Russell two years ago, want him to complete a lineup that already includes LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Although the T’Wolves Karl-Anthony Towns, a close friend, has pushed for Minnesota to sign Russell, the Lakers have cap space and Minnesota does not.

Although the Nets are willing to accommodate Russell in a sign-and-trade scenario, they are also prepared to let him go without compensation, a Nets insider told NetsDaily.

Irving will be the fourth off-season addition for the Nets, joining Taurean Prince, acquired in the cap-clearing trade for Allen Crabbe earlier this month, and two draft picks, Nic Claxton and Jaylen Hands. In addition to Crabbe, whose trade won’t become official until July 6, the Nets have renounced their rights to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Who’s next other than Durant? Several writers have reported that if the Nets can sign Durant, his friend, DeAndre Jordan, might be convinced to join Brooklyn. Darren Wolfson, a Timberwolves writer, tweeted Saturday that the Nets are among several teams who may be interested in Taj Gibson, the Brooklyn-born power forward.

Of course, if the Nets can sign Durant on top of Irving, they will have a lot easier time recruiting free agents not just this season, but in the future.