The circus of news circling around Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets has been nonstop since the June 20 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic that the Nets and the point guard’s negotiations have come to an ‘impasse’ with Brooklyn being unwilling to sign the star to a long-term deal. The news was quickly followed by an onslaught of trade rumors for Irving and teams like the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. Some NBA Insiders even believe that Irving is the one behind the leak leading to the news that broke NBA Twitter into a frenzy.
Even after all of the reports that came out, Brian Windhorst stated that he believed that Irving would still be back in Brooklyn at the start of the season. However, less than twenty-four hours after that report, hope is looking bleaker for Irving to return to the Nets.
Nets beat writer Matt Brooks shared that he felt the damage might already be done in Brooklyn. NetsDaily writer Alec Sturm tweeted, saying, “The Nets could probably offer Kyrie the full max tonight, and this would all be over with.” Brooks replied to that tweet by saying:
“It very much feels like the damage is done… and it didn’t have to come to this,” Brooks tweeted.
Kyrie may Take Less to Play with LeBron
Part of what might be leading to things feeling like the damage may be done is Irving sharing the teams he would be interested in and reports that the star might be willing to accept less money to play with the Lakers. Chris Broussard added to that reporting on a June 23 appearance on Fox Sports First Thing’s First.
“I’ve been told, by someone in the know, that Kyrie would consider going to the Lakers for the $6M mid-level exception,” Broussard reported. “I don’t know how much stock that I’m putting into it. But I have been told that he’ll consider it.”
The Twitter replies were quick to point out their general disbelief when Chris Broussard makes news like this. It feels important to note that Kyrie possibly taking the mid-level exception was also reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. How true it is can be debated. It feels foolish, it also is an expert move from Irving, who can stir the pot with the best of them.
Why Leave the Nets?
One thing that Broussard added to his comments was his belief that “Kyrie should stay in Brooklyn & focus on basketball. I think Kyrie, KD & Ben Simmons have a chance to do something special there,” Broussard stated.
He added that he can do the same thing with the Nets that he would for the Lakers. He could sign in Brooklyn to a mid-level extension as well and re-evaluate with the Nets later. Perhaps as Brooks said, the damage has already been done, which would be a major failure for the Nets franchise. They let Irving and Durant come in and have all the power, roster decisions, coaching decisions, and even the ability to sit out games, only for a short failed experiment with both stars possibly looking to leave. It’s a mess. Time will tell how everything sorts itself out, but no outcome looks good right now.