In his latest read of the Nets situation, Adrian Wojnarowski, speaking on ESPN, says that there is “no traction” on deals on involving either Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, and raised the possibility of the two superstars still being Nets when training camp opens at the end of September.
He also threw cold water on reports that the Lakers are moving aggressively on trading for Irving. Reports out of Yahoo! Sports and SNY among others had Irving and possibly Joe Harris headed to L.A. for Russell Westbrook and draft compensation.
"The Lakers have yet, I'm told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get [Kyrie] from Brooklyn. That may come, that may evolve with time. But so far right now, there's no traction really on deals with either Irving or Durant."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 4, 2022
“Similar to Durant, a very slow moving market right now,” Woj said about the market for Irving. “I think unlike Kevin Durant, I think there is a limited number of teams where it might make sense. I do think there are teams that would like to do deals for him. It’s different from the sign-and-trade he tried to get. Teams would have had to sign him for multiple years. He’s essentially on an expiring contract. I think that teams that need to improve their talent, they can take some risks with Kyrie Irving.
“The Lakers have yet, I’m told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get [Kyrie] from Brooklyn. That may come, that may evolve with time. But so far right now, there’s no traction really on deals with either Irving or Durant. They’ll develop over time but both of these processes could play out.”
Woj then dropped a bit of a bomb, suggesting the Nets might just try to wait out their two superstars.
“And they don’t have to trade either,” Woj added. “They’re both under contract. They could bring them back to start the season. I don’t think that’s the ideal scenario for Brooklyn. I think it’s trying to find get the biggest haul of assets they can but again, there’s a lot of time left in this off-season and a lot more talks that are coming.”
Intriguingly, Woj did not say whether the talks involve the Nets and other teams or Nets and their players. While the assumption around the league is that the situation is so toxic that there’s no chance of a return. However, none of the parties — Durant, Irving, Joe Tsai or Sean Marks — has made a public statement or given a public interview they would have to take back.
Of course, if things are indeed toxic, a training camp standoff could just make things uglier. Also, the longer trade talks take to get “traction,” the more difficult it may be to get a deal done that would satisfy all parties. However, negotiations can take different turns.
Woj, in fact, was not alone in his discussion of the status of any trade talks. Brian Lewis noted Sunday night, “So far, league sources have said nothing is imminent, or even at the advanced stage.”
Meanwhile, Howard Beck wrote about KD’s motivations in asking for a trade.
“Kyrie sabotaged everything,” but Durant is reacting more to the effects than the cause, and he now views the Nets as unsalvageable. “There’s no use in (him) taking sides when it’s all too far gone,” the person said. In essence, the Nets were right in principle, but wrong in practical terms, failing to understand that making Irving upset “was going to drive Kevin away.” It’s instructive to note that for all the chaos, all the havoc and all the stress, Durant still wants to play with Irving, according to league insiders
Beck added that in large part, it was Irving’s unhappiness as well as his overall disappointment with the season. “Durant doesn’t see much hope for a revival under the circumstances, those sources say. And he’s unhappy that his friend is unhappy.”
- Nets are patient to find premium return in exchange for Kevin Durant - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant’s trade demand has brought NBA free agency to halt - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- The Weirdness of Kevin Durant Wanting Out - Howard Beck - Sports Illustrated
- Kevin Durant reuniting with Warriors highly unlikely: Sources - Marcus Thompson II - The Athletic
- Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton and why the Rockets should get involved - Kelly Iko - The Athletic