The entire NBA was shook following a June 20 report by Shams Charania of The Athletic. The report stated that Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets were at an “impasse” in their contract negotiations.
“One of the most anticipated free-agency situations involves Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, who has a June 29 deadline on his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season. However, multiple sources tell The Athletic that conversations about Irving’s future have gone stagnant between him and the Nets. An impasse currently exists among the parties that clears the way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open marketplace,” Charania writes for “The Athletic”.
A little over an hour after the news broke, Irving took to Twitter himself with a cryptic tweet that quickly went viral. What it all means has been interpreted by many sleuths. Fans of ‘The Wire’ will break down a complex storyline of season three in order to try to decipher what it means. We will save that for another article, but most important to the news is the frenzy it sent the NBA into with several teams reportedly interested in acquiring Irving.
One surprising team that entered the conversation was the Miami Heat.
Kyrie Irving to the Miami Heat?
Multiple NBA teams seemingly were catapulted into Kyrie Irving discussions following the news, but one of the teams that Marc Stein reported had an interest was a surprising one when you factor in what Miami refers to as “Heat Culture.”
“Miami is believed to have some level of interest in joining the chase for Irving — should the Nets reach the point of actively trying to trade him — and would figure to be a more legitimate landing spot than the teams intitally mentioned given the Heat’s various trade assets. While it certainly ranks as another strain on the imagination to try to picture Irving finding daily comfort in Pat Riley’s rigid South Beach operation, it’s likewise true that the heat have never shied away from the starriest of stars or personalities painted as challenging.” Stein wrote on his substack.
This isn’t the first time that the Heat have been mentioned as a potential Kyrie Irving suitor. Irving listed Miami as one of his top four destinations in his 2017 free agency. Could this be the star the Heat add to play with Jimmy Butler? We certainly know that Jimmy Butler would be interested.
Jimmy Butler on Kyrie Irving
With the circus around the Irving negotiations in Brooklyn, a 2017 clip of Jimmy Butler on ESPN’s First Take resurfaced. In the clip Butler, who was then a member of the Chicago Bulls was asked if he had to choose a player he would want to play with most, who would it be?
“I probably have to go with my favorite player — who is not myself — and that’s Kyrie [Irving]. I just love Kyrie’s game, man.” Butler said on First Take.
Butler and Irving have been teammates on Team USA, and Butler likely isn’t the only one intrigued with the reunion. However, would Kyrie be willing to play on a team that has high expectations with ‘Heat Culture.’ Heat players have to be under a certain body fat percentage, it’s hard to say where they would stand on their player sitting out of key games like he did this season with Brooklyn. The Heat certainly are in one of the best positions to add a star like Irving with the assets they have, but how things fall together will be seen in the ensuing weeks.
Adrian Wojnarowski Reporting
On June 23, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added to the rumors that the Heat adding Irving could be a real possibility.
“ESPN Sources: If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help,” Wojnarowski tweeted.