Kyrie Irving is about to become one of the top free agents in the NBA in a couple of weeks, and, for all intents and purposes, many believe that the Brooklyn Nets are the team that will land the six-time All-Star point guard. But a new report in the New York Post claims that the Nets could be hesitant in pursuing Irving all on his lonesome self, with the team’s dream scenario pairing the one-time NBA champ with Kevin Durant — even with Durant’s future uncertain as he’s set to recover from a torn Achilles.
While there have been reports that some franchises might be scared off by Kyrie Irving because of the “toxic” situation he created with the Boston Celtics over the past couple seasons — with Irving openly challenging younger teammates and being criticized for leading dysfunction in the locker room — there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most talented guards in the league. For that reason, there will be plenty of suitors with money lining up to sign him on July 1. Unfortunately, the Nets might not be convinced Irving’s worth giving a boatload of money to without another start like Durant, with the Post‘s report describing the “qualms” the franchise is having internally.
The Post has reported the Nets’ dream offseason is pairing Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving, and sources say that hasn’t changed.
The question is if they can’t land Durant, do they still want Irving? Especially if they have to lose D’Angelo Russell — their own 23-year-old homegrown All-Star — to get him?
It’s a question that has turned into a civil war among the fan base. It also has become an internal debate the Nets are having right now.
The Post has confirmed Brooklyn might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving if he isn’t bringing the injured Durant with him.
Other teams had already backed off of pursuing Irving with similar concerns over the way things went awry in Boston. If the Nets do the same, it would mean keeping Russell, who is a younger and cheaper option as a restricted free agent.
Even with the Nets currently having $68 million available in cap room — which is enough to land two max contracts — the team would still need to do some maneuvering to accommodate a potential pairing of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, with the former in line for a four-year, $141 million deal that starts at $32 million, and the latter in line for a four-year, $164 million contract that would start at $38 million next season. While that’s a lot to commit to just two players, the Nets seem open to doing it for Irving and Durant — but reportedly not just Kyrie, which is interesting.
The Nets have been the favorite to land Kyrie Irving this summer, and the guess here is that they still sign him. But if he can’t bring another star with him, Durant or otherwise, will they endure the same fate as the Celtics the past few years? It’s something they clearly are debating at the moment.