Is it leverage or is it real? It’s certainly part of the negotiations.
Within four minutes Thursday afternoon, both Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania posted tweets that seems to suggest that negotiations between the Nets and Kyrie Irving may not be going well.
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
Sources: Kevin Durant is monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2022
This now opens the path for Kyrie Irving to proceed on finding a new home via opt-in and trade.
Woj was quick to point out that the six teams may all have interest in Irving and that everything is contingent on the final resolution of contract talks between Irving and the Nets. And Shams tweet was vague, no doubt deliberately.
The tweets could be seen as coordinated to put increasing pressure on the Nets to act with the most likely source being Irving’s camp. While Irving has until next Wednesday to inform the Nets of what he plans to do with his $36.5 million player option, Draft Night has been seen by some as an ideal time to resolve the issues associated with the talks, particularly considering how many off-season decisions are dependent on Irving’s status.
Later Thursday, Woj went on ESPN to say “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.”
Instead, he said, Durant simply wants to know how the Nets would reconfigure if Irving does leave.
"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.”— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 23, 2022
Woj with an update on the KD, Nets, and Kyrie saga.
The Nets reportedly do not want to give Irving much of a guarantee with one report that they offered two years and $84 million, a far cry from the two years and $246 million fully guaranteed max contract.
As for the possible sign-and-trades, Alex Schiffer wrote earlier in the week about possible scenarios.
- Kevin Durant monitoring uncertainty surrounding Nets: Sources - Shams Charania - The Athletic