Just when Kyrie Irving was said to be growing ‘comfortable‘ and potentially returning to the Brooklyn Nets next season, everything was shaken up by an August 8 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic. The report shared details from Kevin Durant’s recent meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai in London over the weekend.
“In a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai, Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request and informed Tsai that Tsai needs to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, sources say,” Shams Charania of The Athletic shared in a tweet.
The reports of Irving being in a “good place” with the Nets came as there was growing optimism that Kevin Durant would rescind his trade request and return to the Nets. Now, things may change for Irving too. At one point this offseason, Brooklyn was reportedly so over Irving that they entertained the idea of exercising their stretch-and-waive provision to free themselves from him. With Durant potentially on the move, will that mean the team will look to move on from Irving as well? One Eastern Conference executive believes so.
Eastern Conference Executive on Potential Irving Trade
When considering Durant’s request, one Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that he believes that the news could cause Brooklyn to have to revisit a deal involving Irving.
“If they’re resigned to losing KD, I don’t see why they would keep Kyrie in place, too. You’d really have to get younger. They would have to look around and maybe revisit the Lakers stuff. The Heat, too, but the Lakers had a framework on a deal.”
So far, the only team that has really been linked in negotiations for Kyrie Irving is the Los Angeles Lakers for a reunion with Irving and LeBron James. However, the Nets aren’t interested in a deal that would require taking Russell Westbrook in return. Perhaps if the Miami Heat loses out in the Durant sweepstakes, they could set their sights on the Nets All-Star point guard.
Kyrie Irving Linked to Miami Heat
During Irving’s contentious contract negotiations in Brooklyn, he was linked to the Miami Heat early on. However, then news that a Kevin Durant trade request could be coming down the line moved Miami’s sights to Durant. If they were unable to acquire KD, they could move to land Irving from the Nets. The move would likely have the co-sign of Heat star Jimmy Butler who has publicly shared a desire to play with Irving.
In a 2017 clip, Jimmy Butler was on ESPN’s First Take and 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.”
Marc Stein also confirmed there could be interest in a Substack column earlier this summer.
“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.
The price for acquiring Irving is drastically lower than Durant. Miami could add him and keep a good portion of their core while teaming Butler with a player he has wanted to play with. This could be a decent fallback plan for each team if a Durant deal gets done.