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Kyrie Irving is now saying he wants to play this upcoming season with the Nets, whether that’s alongside Kevin Durant or not, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. This report confirms the Nets beat writers that’ve been saying Kyrie never requested a trade. Either that or Irving didn’t like the potential suitors?
Kyrie Irving wants to play out next season as a Net, with or without Kevin Durant, per @ShamsCharania
(via the Pat McAfee Show) pic.twitter.com/8SH1hbbabt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 25, 2022
In terms of aggressiveness for a deal, the Lakers are the only team that’s tried to land the world champion point guard, and we all know the headliner from L.A.: Russell Westbrook.
The Nets have already said they’re hardly interested in Westbrook, which means the Nets had to circle the block for any other takers on Kyrie’s one-year, $37 million player option for the 2022-23 season. A star player that provides zero insurances on a long-term partnership unless he’s dealt to LeBron’s Lakers. The market is thin for that reason, and rightfully so, leading Irving to Brooklyn for one last hurrah. There’s a real chance that Kyrie knows he can play out this year with the Nets, ask the team for a max contract extension next summer, and then bolt to Los Angeles along side James and Davis after the Nets fail to offer him what he wants. This way he can control the narrative that he “quit” on the team like he did in Boston while still getting what he wants.
And for those wondering, the Nets can still ship Kyrie wherever they please. Reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski have suggested all along that Brooklyn will take care of KD’s trade request before dealing with Kyrie. For now, Irving appears to be at work with a bit of a PR stunt. Kyrie, you’re locked into a contract until next year — just sit back and let the team take care of some more important business, first.