Nets Linked to Clippers Star in Potential Blockbuster Trade, Says GM

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Getty Paul George and Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has a player option on the final year of his deal for the 2022-23 season. The All-Star point guard can elect to opt into the final year of his deal or opt-out and become a free agent. Irving has expressed his desire to remain with the Nets long-term, but multiple reports have confirmed that the team is still noncommittal on offering him a max extension this summer. They are also open to a sign and trade should Irving decide to move on from the franchise.

Per Ryan Ward of “Lakers Nation,” the sportsbook has Kyrie heading west in his next destination. The Los Angeles Clippers (+150) have the highest odds to land the All-Star guard if he decides to leave the Nets. One NBA general manager agrees that the Clippers are the best possible trade destination for Irving and suggests a swap where the Nets get seven-time All-Star Paul George in return.

“If the Nets were serious about moving on from Kyrie, the Clippers are really the only team that might make some sense, and that is only if you get Paul George coming back,” the general manager said to Heavy’s own Sean Deveney.

“George has no desire to leave L.A., he spent a lot of time in his career trying to get from the Midwest to L.A. in the first place. The Clippers could still move him, but it is a bad look trading him for a guy like Kyrie, who has been so unreliable, where George has played through injuries and really tried to push that team.”

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Nets Could Trade Kyrie to Clippers for Haul of Role Players

The Nets have had their fair share of stars on the roster in the past two seasons. James Harden, Kyrie, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons, just to name a few. But one could argue that the Nets were at their best before they made the trade for Harden in 2021. When it was Durant and Kyrie surrounded by key role players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Taurean Prince.

The NBA GM tells Deveney that the Nets could swing a different deal for Kyrie with the Clippers , adding a larger haul of contributing role players instead of a third star.

“The more interesting thing might be if the Nets want to wash their hands of Kyrie and get back multiple assets to put around KD and Ben Simmons,” the NBA GM continues.

“Norm Powell is a good shooter and scorer, you could add (Ivica) Zubac, you could add Reggie Jackson and the deal would work. Now you’ve got a deep team around Durant, and you do not have the Kyrie headache. Only question is, do the Clippers really want the Kyrie headache themselves.”

Nets Could Trade Kyrie to Clippers for Haul of Role Players

The Kyrie saga had bled its way from pre-season and now to the off-season. As the Nets enter a crucial 2022 NBA offseason, their moves will be pivotal as it pertains to the future of the franchise. Brooklyn has several key players already scheduled to hit the free-agent market, but if Kyrie opts out, he would undoubtedly be the biggest available name in the 2022 free agency pool.

Kyrie and Durant have repeatedly claimed their allegiance to the team, but more importantly, each other, which should be an encouraging sign for Nets fans. But regardless of what the outcome of Kyrie’s situation with the Nets ends up being, 2023 will be a pivotal season for the Nets after consecutive exits before the conference finals. The time is ticking for them to prove their worth.

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