The Brooklyn Nets and star point guard Kyrie Irving appear to be on the verge of a breaking point just before the offseason officially kicks off.
Irving and Kevin Durant led the Nets into the playoffs, and despite having to get through the play-in tournament they were considered to be championship contenders. They were eventually swept by the Boston Celtics and now the future of the team is in jeopardy.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports the two sides have reached an impasse.
Kyrie Irving, Nets are at impasse in conversations about his future in Brooklyn, clearing way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open market,” he wrote. “Lakers and Knicks expected to emerge among potential suitors.”
This would be a major blow to the Nets if Irving did depart, but it’s not a guarantee at this point.
Irving has been a member of the Nets since 2019, but his tenure in Brooklyn has been tumultuous at best. He spent much of the 2021-22 season away from the Nets over eligibility issues, and when he did return it didn’t make much of a difference for the team.
After the sweep by the Celtics, Irving said he didn’t plan on leaving, but Charania reports it’s now a possibility.
“Nearly two months later, it appears both sides have serious work to do in order to find a resolution that brings Irving back to Brooklyn and his co-star in Durant, who is under contract with the Nets through 2025-26,” he wrote. “Several teams across the league have kept tabs on the situation, wondering about the future of Irving and Brooklyn.”
There’s no question that Irving is a superstar talent, but there’s no telling what version of him you’ll be getting. He flamed out in Cleveland, Boston, and now possibly Brooklyn if he does eventually leave.
Despite that, there are many teams who would love to bring him on, and that includes the cross-town rival New York Knicks.
Suitors Line Up
Charania reports three high-profile teams as potential landing spots for the guard in the event he leaves.
“The Lakers, Knicks and Clippers are expected to be among the interested suitors if Irving heads elsewhere, multiple sources tell The Athletic,” he wrote.
If he were to join the Lakers, he’d be reunited with LeBron James. The Clippers would see him as the final piece to a superteam with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, assuming both of them are able to stay.
The Knicks are a team that pursued both Durant and Irving, and landing him would certainly solve their point guard problems if he stayed on the court and played.
Of the trio, the Knicks appear to be the least likely if Irving has any hopes of winning another championship before his career ends. The Clippers could be his best hope, but the allure of playing with James again could be something to look at.
Whatever happens, this is shaping up to be a massive offseason for the Nets as Irving’s departure would be a massive blow to weather.