In an answer to a question posed by Eddie Gonzalez of the Etcs podcast, Kevin Durant said he isn’t involved in his teammate and friend Kyrie Irving’s free agency, adding, “I just let things play out and see what happens,” adding “Whatever happens, the friendship will still be there.”
Durant was not asked directly about whether an Irving decision to exit Brooklyn would effect his standing with the Nets. Multiple reports, primarily by Shams Charania and Kristian Winfield, have suggested that if Irving leaves, Durant might not be far behind. KD, of course, signed a four-year, $198 million extension a year ago. The extension goes into effect this coming season.
Durant’s main point in talking about Irving’s free agency was that he is not involved in Irving’s decision, that it’s Irving’s to make.
“It’s no involvement at all. I can’t be involved with it,” he 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 Kai 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.”
Regarding the friendship factor in Irving’s free agency decision
“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.”
He also briefly discussed “reports” surrounding him and Irving.
“It’s just reports. You know, that go around this time, the Draft, the Finals just ended. You just got to keep that dialogue going, keep that engagement going. So, obviously, it’s an interesting topic. There’s a lot going on with our team. Uncertainty with Ben not playing with us, us being swept in the playoffs, Kyrie’s situation being a free agent. So there’s a lot of certainty with our team. I understand why there’s so much noise around us, but as individuals, you control what you can.
“If the time’s right, everything will work out for itself.”
Here’s the pertinent clip from the wide-ranging discussion which included everything from basketball to music. There was no indication in the podcast as to when it was recorded, but it appears the interview took place in the last few days as reporting on the impasse has increased.
Short clip of KD talking about the Kyrie situation on The ETCs: pic.twitter.com/IaCWmlOZGL— Leb (@PlayboiLeb) June 24, 2022
Irving himself was heard from as well Friday in what could be a tweet on his contract situation ... or not.
Are you awake?— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) June 24, 2022
You see everything that’s happening right?
F*** what they think. It’s legendary to be different.
In the latest discussion of how Durant feels about Irving’s contract talks, Adrian Wojnarowski said Friday morning that “this is a perilous time” for the Nets franchise.
“The Nets knew when they entered these conversations with Kyrie Irving about his future that there was great risk about the future, about what it meant about Kevin Durant moving forward if they weren’t prepared to do a max deal, a long-term max deal,” said Woj on Get Up. “Obviously, they were willing to take that risk because Kyrie Irving hasn’t heard from the Nets about the idea of a long-term commitment.
“So all of it is very much up in the air. So there’s going to be a dialogue here to see this move forward, but this is a very perilous time for the future of this Nets organization.”
Woj even discussed what the Nets could get for KD if Brooklyn was forced to deal him.
“Brooklyn would be able to put together a trade package and get back a haul that might historic in nature,” he said. “We’ve never seen a player of Kevin Durant’s stature, at the top of his game at the very top of the league who’s under contract long-term becoming available in the trade market.”
Meanwhile, Kristian Winfield laid out what sources tell was the Nets initial offer.
In May, a source who requested anonymity because of the nature of the negotiations told The News the Nets wanted Irving to opt into the final year of his contract worth $36.5M in order to “prove” he deserves a long-term deal. For a star player with a very real injury history, a one-year deal is a non-starter.
It is unclear if the Nets have budged on the one-year stance and have offered more years.
Woj earlier in the week seemed to hint that the Nets were offering Irving two years and $48 million.
And if you’re interested in reading tea leaves, there’s this...Joe Tsai liked a tweet from a season ticket holder expressing trust in Sean Marks... and the need for team players.
Just drove by Sean Marks exit on my way to work. I didn’t see white smoke. But I know that man is cooking. IN SEAN MARKS WE TRUST. Team and culture > any one player. Excited to get back to Nets basketball ❤️— K (@kristinf34_) June 23, 2022
- The Nets played with fire. Now, they’re about to get burned - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Kevin Durant still could stay with Nets even if Kyrie Irving leaves - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant says he’s staying out of Kyrie Irving talks at ‘perilous’ Nets time - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Are Nets in danger of losing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant? - Barbara Barker - Newsday