The news of the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving contract extensions has brought a whirlwind of speculation from NBA insiders, analysts, and basketball Twitter. There have been nearly non-stop rumors of potential trade packages the Irving could be involved in. Or Kyrie choosing to take a pay cut and join LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers for the $6 million mid-level exception. The news with Kyrie has also turned into Kevin Durant possibly being traded.
First, Kyrie was rumored to potentially be interested in joining the Miami Heat in reporting by Marc Stein. Then Adrian Wojnarowski added five other teams that Irving is reportedly interested in if he were to leave Brooklyn. Shannon Sharpe predicted that with Irving possibly leaving the Nets that the Heat would likely try to land Kevin Durant in the fallout. Even Brian Windhorst reported that that would be the “godfather move” for the Heat and Pat Riley and helped the rumors feel legitimate.
Then ESPN’s NBA Insider Zach Lowe added reporting that Kyrie Irving isn’t the only Brooklyn Nets superstar that teams are preparing to be able to trade for.
Zach Lowe: Teams are Preparing for Kevin Durant Trades in 6-7 Days
On the June 24 episode of The Lowe Post podcast Zach Lowe commented on the possibility that both Nets stars may force themselves out this offseason.
“I can tell you this,” Zach Lowe said during The Lowe Post podcast. “This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under the… not the assumption, but we need to prepare for the contingency Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days, or seven days.”
The Durant trade discussions wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the Kyrie news that has been breaking. Of the news, Durant insisted that they are “just reports.”
“It’s just reports. You know that go around this time, the Draft, the Finals just ended. You just got to keep that dialogue going, keep that engagement going. So, obviously, it’s an interesting topic. There’s a lot going on with our team,” Durant said.
Durant pointing out the timing is important. The Finals just ended, there are no games to compete with, only transaction news. Now the news starts as Kyrie is about to enter contract negotiations; perhaps the news is nothing but the media helping a star get leverage in negotiations, and everything being talked about is, as KD says, “just reports.”
Durant Rumors Heating Up
Kevin Durant possibly being traded is now being reported on almost or more than the Kyrie news now. As people speculate that it could lead to both departing Brooklyn, there have already been rumors to the Heat, as mentioned earlier. But on June 25, the news was accelerated by a cryptic tweet from Portland Trailblazers center Jusuf Nurkic with just a puzzle piece emoji and a photo-shopped image of Kevin Durant with Damian Lillard in Trailblazers jerseys.
However, it didn’t stop with Nurkic. Blazers point guard Damian Lillard also featured the image in his Instagram story without any context. Could this point to anything more? It’s hard to say, but it is what makes the NBA offseason constantly entertaining.