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A few days before free agency began, there were reports that Kyrie Irving had been given permission to seek out a sign-and-trade from the Nets, but was unable to find any suitors beyond the Lakers, who didn’t have a package the Nets wanted in return. As such, Irving picked up his player option for next season and it seemed as though the Nets would run it back and try one more time to make the Irving-Kevin Durant pairing work.
However, that feeling lasted a day before Durant requested a trade and sent the NBA into turmoil, stalemating a number of other potential moves as teams didn’t want to take themselves out of the Durant sweepstakes by dealing away assets, and also bringing Kyrie back into trade discussions despite his decision to opt in. At this point, though, the Durant trade talks have hit a lull, with the only real recent news being that Boston offered Jaylen Brown in a package at some point in the last few weeks and got turned down, which caught Brown a bit off guard. That has also stalled Kyrie talks, and at this point it seems there’s a legitimate chance the Nets hold on to both Durant and Irving going into camp.
Furthering that belief is a new report that Irving himself is expecting to be in Brooklyn no matter what happens with his co-star. At the one minute mark of this clip from Shams Charania’s appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, he offers up a nugget of info that Irving isn’t exactly pushing to leave Brooklyn and is planning on being a Net “with or without Kevin Durant.”
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 25, 2022
Charania is rather famously close to Irving’s camp, so there’s plenty of reason to believe this is indeed how Kyrie is thinking at the moment. Now, we also know that how Kyrie feels right now in late July is not guaranteed to be how Kyrie feels in September if KD is traded, and it also doesn’t particularly matter what Irving wants if the Nets decide they want to move him and have teams offering something they view as value in return. Still, as we approach the one month mark since Durant’s trade request, the idea the Nets could just bring everyone back has to be viewed as a real possibility, and the only person that can derail that is Durant by holding out — which would be a bold stance for someone with four years to go on his deal.