The Nets and Kyrie Irving seem to be at peace. After a contentious negotiations on a contract extension that ended with Irving opting in to the last year of his contract. Since then, the Nets, both Joe Tsai and the organization have offered praise for the superstar guard and extensively chronicled his visit to Kean University, accompanied by five teammates.
Meanwhile, a source close to Irving told Brian Lewis that Irving has “every intention” of returning to the Nets next season, whether it’s with Kevin Durant and not. Then, Thursday, Shetellia Riley Irving, Irving’s agent (and stepmom), went on the record saying that despite a report in the Post, Irving does not “hate” Sean Marks and Steve Nash.
“I am not sure where this narrative is coming from but Kyrie does not hate Steve nor Sean. That’s not a part of his being nor how he represents himself in the world. He’s about peace, love and acceptance,” Riley Irving told the Post, rebutting the earlier article.
We may not have seen a Kumbaya moment, but it appears that Irving is not holding out, not pushing an agenda. However, the past couple of days, there were somewhat conflicting reports about the status of talks, if they can described that way, between Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers on a possible Irving trade.
A Kristian Winfield report a couple of days back indicated that the Lakers are now more willing to both of their remaining first-round picks — in 2027 and 2029 — into an Irving trade. The Lakers were reportedly unwilling to do that early on and that was a show-stopper.
[T]he Los Angeles Lakers are now reportedly willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving. Earlier in the offseason, the Nets were unwilling to take back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their stance remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.
Maybe, suggested Daniel Woike of the Los Angeles Times Friday morning. Woike, the Times Laker beat writer, toned down the possibility of a move — even L.A.’s willingness to include the picks, the only firsts the Lakers control.
(Laker GM) Rob Pelinka surprising plenty of folks around the NBA with his hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks with Westbrook in trade talks.
(Note: Those two firsts might not even be enough to entice Brooklyn to take on Westbrook. And there are the Lakers’ reasons for hesitancy with Kyrie Irving — his vaccination status, injury history and track record of saying he wants to stay somewhere before signing somewhere different — that have already and will certainly further be considered before talking about two firsts.)
In fact, Woike suggested that the Lakers are increasingly positive about how Westbrook could fit into their offense. He added they may not have much of a choice:
It’s the right thing to do because the path of least resistance is simply just keeping Westbrook and hanging on to whatever precious remaining assets the Lakers have.
Woike did suggest that if Durant or Donovan Mitchell ultimately get moved, that could free up some of the logjams in NBA free agency but noted that the Lakers insist they are not limited to vying for Irving, that “they have options beyond the ones that have been reported (Irving, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner and others).”