On June 20, NBA Insider Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reported that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets hit an ‘impasse’ on talks of a new deal. After playing just 29 games last season, and still having yet to play a full season with the franchise since his arrival in 2019, the Nets have been reluctant to offer their star a long-term extension. Irving has a player option on the upcoming final year of his deal with the Nets. He can opt-in for the 2023 season or enter free agency and join another team. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski says that if Irving decides to dash in free agency the Los Angeles Lakers are considered the ‘most’ significant threat to land the Nets star.
“While some believe that accomplishing that tall task is nearly impossible for the organization, it appears that the Lakers are seen as the ‘most significant threat’ to land a certain superstar guard. That star is none other than Kyrie Irving, LeBron James’ former teammate,” Wojnarowski said on the June 22 edition of ESPN’s “NBA Today”.
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Knicks Have Interest in Kyrie
Charania also reports that If Irving opts to become a free agent this summer, the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks are expected to be his top suitors. The insider says the Knicks have a good chance to land Kyrie if he hits the open market, but it depends on how badly they want him.
“For the Knicks, the likely path to acquire Irving depends on what the Nets prioritize,” Charania writes. “New York is even with the salary-cap line for 2022-23 so it could clear enough space to sign Irving on a maximum contract by offloading salaries such as Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kemba Walker. But the Knicks could also offer some or all of those players to the Nets or a third team in a possible sign-and-trade.”
Kyrie, Nets Contract Talks To Remain ‘Fluid’
Irving is one of the most talented players in the NBA, and when a player of his caliber could potentially hit the open market, it will surely cause a buzz in the NBA community. Though Irving and the Nets have hit a standstill in contracts talks Jake Fischer of “Bleacher Report” says talks will remain fluid between the two sides up until Irving’s deadline to opt into his deal for this year.
“[T]he dialogue among Irving, his representation and Nets leadership is expected to be fluid in the lead-up to his decision. Both sides appear keen on holding ongoing conversations about building together in Brooklyn, where the Nets can return to the championship-contending aspirations they held entering this past campaign,” Fischer said in a conversation with Eddie Gonzalez of “Boardroom”.
“Since their exit from the playoffs, Brooklyn officials have been working under the assumption that Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons will return to Barclays Center for the 2022-23 season.”
The clock is ticking for Kyrie to decide. He has until June 29 to opt into the final year of his deal.