The future of the Brooklyn Nets has been hanging in limbo since the opening of NBA free agency. After Kevin Durant requested a trade from the franchise, less than one year removed from signing a 4-year, $198 million extension, most feared a looming rebuild in Brooklyn.
Many assumed that Durant’s disdain for the franchise stemmed from them not offering Nets star Kyrie Irving a max extension before the opening of NBA free agency. Despite Irving opting in, there was a lot of buzz surrounding him getting sent to the Los Angeles Lakers. But, the consensus thought was that if the Nets kept Irving, perhaps they could get Durant to reconsider his trade request.
However, a new report from Brian Lewis of the “New York Post” suggests that the Nets looming decision with Irving is not connected to Durant’s future with the franchise. Irving is prepared to play with the Nets, whether or not Durant remains on the roster.
“With every day that goes by without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being traded, there is increasing sentiment among league personnel that one or both stars could still be on the Nets roster come training camp,” Lewis writes.
“A source close to the team confirmed that they’ve been in contact with Durant since his trade demand stunned the NBA. Another source close to Irving told The Post that the All-Star point guard not only never asked for a trade, but has had every intention of playing for Brooklyn — with or without Durant.”
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Kyrie Has ‘Every Intention’ of Remaining With Nets
Multiple reports suggested that Irving wanted to be traded by the Nets after opting into the final year of his deal. But one source told the New York Post that the rumors of Irving wanting a trade stemmed directly from Durant’s trade request. The future of Durant and Irving remains a mystery, but Irving is fully committed to the team.
“Here is the situation. He opted in, which means he had, and he has, every intention of playing with the Brooklyn Nets. KD decides he wants out, and now everybody is talking about trading Kyrie, right? Kyrie has not asked for a trade,” The source told the “New York Post”.
“Now, if the Nets don’t want him, that’s something totally different. Kyrie has not said he wants a trade. He opted in. [So where did] the trade conversations come from? Is it because, KD requested a trade and now everybody’s like, let’s trade Ky? Kyrie opted in.”
Kyrie Still Has Goal of Bringing Title to Brooklyn
Although they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round, Irving’s faith in the Nets’ roster has not waivered. His goal remains the same as it has always been. And that is to win a championship with the Nets.
“Kyrie wants to play. … He wants to win a championship, and he wants to play,” the source added.
Whether or not Durant will be on the roster at the start of training camp remains to be seen. But even if the Nets follow through with Durant’s trade request, they have key players in Joe Harris, Seth Curry, and Ben Simmons returning. Depending on how well they gel together, Brooklyn could be back in the running for a title.