It has been four months since Kevin Durant made the decision to leave Golden State and join the Brooklyn Nets. The 10-time NBA All-Star was sent to Brooklyn in a sign-and-trade deal along with a protected first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from the Golden State Warriors. In exchange, the Warriors received D’Angelo Russell, Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham per Nets Daily.
After the trade was completed, Durant signed a four-year deal worth $164 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The analyst would also reveal that the Nets signed Kyrie Irving to a four-year contract worth $141 million and added DeAndre Jordan as well.
When Did Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving Decide They Wanted to Team up With Nets?
Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson was a guest on 670 The Score in Chicago last week and revealed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant went on vacation last summer. During that vacation, the two discussed teaming up with each other in Brooklyn.
“Well, as I was saying on your show for the past year, that KD [Kevin Durant] was leaving. I knew that to be a fact, and I can expand what I know more,” said Robinson.
“I can share with you that the Nets were in the equation dating back to last summer. I can tell you that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant went on vacation the summer before, and were discussing it. That is kind how I knew I kind of did some research the summer after and kind of took a step back and reflected. I was told that by someone in the know.”
“I knew KD was leaving with the Lakers portion of what I was told there were some pitfalls; obviously, the injury changed some things a lot. The Knicks were a conversation, but I knew KD was out based on the conversations he was having, and the stuff he was saying about Steph Curry when you hear it adds up,” Robinson said.
Previously Reported Irving Would Join Nets
Irving, a native of West Orange, New Jersey, grew up a Nets fan. He also looked up to Jason Kidd. Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson reported that he received a phone call from a league source back in February “not to sleep on the notion that Irving may actually have a loyalty to another big market,” meaning New York.
Irving was able to watch the New Jersey Nets team featuring Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson. As many have reported over the years, Irving grew up a fan of the Hall of Fame point guard in Kidd — a player with whom he even shares the same birthday (March 23) — and “attended countless New Jersey Nets games” (per 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Ty Anderson).
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported in March that the Nets were in the running to land Irving this past summer.
How Talks of Irving With Nets Heated Up
Robinson appeared on Freddie and Fitzsimmons on ESPN Radio back in May – just months before the start of free agency. The two discussed possible landing spots for Irving this past offseason, and Robinson revealed that he was in contact with Irving and his camp.
“First of all, you have to take Kyrie for what he said at the beginning of the season when he stated: “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.” That would not hold up in small claims court in New York City, but here is what I’ll say if I’m Kyrie Irving this is unfinished business news. When you looked at that Boston Celtics team last season, they started out the season behind the eight ball with Gordon Hayward going out. Then you have Kyrie Irving, who was out of the playoffs with an injury he had, and then you have Jayson Tatum stepping it up. Somebody who did not really expect to do what he did,“ said Robinson.
“If I’m the Boston Celtics, you would think with Kyrie’s pride he would want to go there and handle unfinished business because Kyrie Irving is a basketball purist. I think a lot of people think he likes the attention, he just wants to be that guy, but he is actually the purest basketball minds that I have ever met. I think no pun intended, but the grass is not always greener on the other side.“