The NBA offseason is at a standstill right now as the Brooklyn Nets sift through the situation with Kevin Durant.
After a tumultuous tenure with the Nets, Durant finally requested a trade which sent shockwaves throughout the league. Trading Durant is a massive decision for the Brooklyn franchise and as such, they have taken their time reviewing offers and holding out for the deal that brings them back blue chip prospects and a haul of draft picks.
Until Durant is moved, the futures of several players are in a holding pattern. The most impactful one is Kyrie Irving as the Nets seem reluctant to part with the guard right away until they’ve resolved their issue with Durant.
Irving has built a reputation as a flight risk and he did not assuage any concerns over his NBA future when he said he would be looking to play outside of the league in the twilight of his career, via his Twitter account:
And no I won’t be done playing basketball at 38 years old lol, I’ll be in leagues all over the world playing and teaching the youth all that was taught to me.
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) July 30, 2022
At age 30, Irving figures to have some good NBA years left but comments like these are why teams are hesitant to commit long-term to him. Irving and his camp wanted a longer extension from the Nets but after the two sides could not come to an agreement he decided to opt-in to the last year of his current deal and play it out.
It’s unlikely Brooklyn allows Irving to walk away for nothing in free agency next summer, which is why a trade this offseason feels like the most plausible scenario. The Los Angeles Lakers remain the only team seriously interested in acquiring the All-Star but so far there’s been no traction in potential deals.
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The Lakers know they need to offload Russell Westbrook in order to improve their roster, and landing Irving in a possible swap would be the obvious route to doing so. His blend of shooting and scoring would give Los Angeles a puncher’s chance in the playoffs, and former friend and mentor Kobe Bryant previously broke down what makes Irving a special player.
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