Nets Starter Has Strong Response to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Drama

The Brooklyn Nets roster should continue to 'evolve'

Getty The Brooklyn Nets roster should continue to 'evolve'

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the franchise, and the future of Kyrie Irving, remains uncertain. After three seasons together in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have been unable to make it out of the second round of the playoffs. With Irving on an expiring contract, his future with the Nets is in limbo as he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. 

With an apparent Durant trade looming, the widespread belief is if he is traded this offseason, Kyrie will not be too far behind. His trade could come before Durant’s, as multiple reports have suggested that the Nets and Lakers have been in talks about a Kyrie trade that would send him to Los Angeles. Nets fans are hopeful that their star duo can be convinced to return this fall. That may happen, but it won’t come from their starting center Nic Claxton, who says he hasn’t been doing any recruiting. 

“That’s above my pay grade,” Claxton said when asked if he had been convincing Durant and Irving to Stay with the Nets, per Brian Lewis of the “New York Post”. “I feel like we’ve got unfinished business, regardless of who’s going to be rocking with us next year. I’m ready to come out and just make a difference, continue to get better, and help us win games.”

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Durant, Irving Have Reached Out to Congratulate Claxton

For a while, Claxton’s return to the Nets was also in doubt, as multiple reports had suggested that the Nets would not match any potential offer sheets for their young center in free agency. But after an impressive 2022 campaign where he logged career-highs in points, rebounds, and field goal percentage, the Nets inked him to a 2-year, $20 million deal. 

While the Nets center has not been presenting any re-recruiting pitches to Brooklyn’s stars, he says Durant and Irving, among other Nets players have offered him congratulations for earning his new deal. 

“Oh, I heard from most of the guys, just checking in, congratulations here and there,” Claxton said to Brian Lewis of the “New York Post”.

Royce O’Neale Sounds off on Trade to the Nets

Amid the Durant and Irving drama, the Nets have been able to make other moves to round out their roster. One of those moves included making a trade with the Utah Jazz to land forward Royce O’Neale. 

O’Neale averaged 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 38.9% from beyond the arc last season. And despite the news of his signing falling by the wayside in the wake of Irving and Durant’s disdain with the franchise, he says he is excited to see what is to come with the Nets. 

“My news I thought was great, and that happened and I was ‘oh.’ I feel like my news went under the rug a little bit. But I’m excited. It’s going to be fun. Brooklyn’s a change from Utah. Definitely going to be a great experience,” O’Neale said to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. 

“[I’ll help] anyway I can. Just try to be the guy I’ve been doing, not be anyone I’m not. But I know what got me here and what’s going to keep me being here, so just learning any way I can and doing what I got to do offensively and defensively.”

The Nets have significantly improved the roster they put around Durant and Kyrie last season. If they can convince their stars to run it back, Brooklyn could have a legit shot to make some noise in the Eastern Conference next season. 

 READ NEXT: Warriors’ Steph Curry Breaks Silence on Kevin Durant Trade Rumors

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