It’s pretty much something like this for Nets fans...
Confusion, uncertainty and conflicting emotions as the Nets survey the NBA landscape in hopes of getting a return — no, a “haul” — for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Now, five days after Durant requested the Nets trade him, whatever talks there’ve been since seems to have cooled and as Brian Lewis writes Tuesday, “league personnel say the Nets have implied if they don’t get what they want, this could well drag on into training camp.”
Brooklyn’s brass seem to believe that they have the leverage with KD under contract through June 30, 2026 at $198 million and Irving having opted into the final year of his deal at $36.5 million. But as Lewis and Adrian Wojnarowski both said this weekend, a long game of chicken would not be “ideal.” Writes Lewis:
It might also well be posturing because if the Nets can’t get their new Big 3 to actually buy in, it behooves them for teams to believe in their resolve. And nobody can really picture the basketball-obsessed Durant holding out or refusing to play like Ben Simmons did in Philadelphia.
At this point, of course, the situation seems toxic between the Nets and their two superstars. Might a cooling-off period be fruitful in getting either of the two back at HSS Training Center in late September. That seems unlikely with reports continuing that Durant and the front office are actively trying to get KD situated in a new city with Irving seeming an afterthought.
Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai had agreed to work with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman to try to trade him to one of his preferred landing spots. But in the end, Durant and Irving are expected to be moved where and when it works best for Nets management.
One thing does appear positive for fans. Lewis reports that Joe Harris, rumored to be included in a deal with the Lakers centered on Irving for Russell Westbrook. is safe.
“I know the Nets absolutely do not want to trade Joe under any scenario,” a league source familiar with Brooklyn’s thinking told The Post. “But there are just thousands of different ways this can play out.”
Beyond the rumors that Harris was headed to L.A., the Nets acquired Utah’s 3-and-D wing Royce O’Neale on Thursday and re-signed Patty Mills for two years and $14.2 million. That and having Seth Curry under contract would seem to give the Nets a surplus of shooters.
But, as Lewis notes, Marks is a fan of Harris not just a player but as someone he regularly consults.
So where do talks stand if indeed that’s the proper way to describe what’s going on? Indeed reports over the week had more than half the other 29 NBA teams beating down the doors with offers for Durant and the Lakers pursuing Irving.
Word out of Toronto is that the Raptors don’t want to include Scottie Barnes and word out of Boston is that the Celtics don’t want to include Jaylen Brown. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said Sunday his sources continue to believe, “The most likely spot for Kevin Durant right now is to Phoenix in a potential multiple-team deal with Deandre Ayton going to a non-Brooklyn team.”
As for a deal sending Irving to L.A., Fischer added, “If there is a Russell Westbrook/Kyrie Irving deal, I will guarantee u it won’t be a two-team deal.
Still, despite Twitter rumors — or as Scooter Magruder says in his YouTube video “a random dude on Twitter” — things look fluid and nothing seems imminent. Of course, all 30 NBA teams are in Las Vegas this week and next for the Summer League.
- Dealing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving could drag out as Nets intend to use leverage - Brian Lewis - New York Post