After a roller-coaster season with their all-star point guard Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets are stagnant in renewal talks with their star. Irving has a player option for the forthcoming final year of his contract with the Nets. He can sign up for the 2023 season or enter free agency and join another team. NBA Analyst Bill Simmons proposes a trade that sends Kyrie to the Los Angeles Lakers, former No. 1 overall pick John Wall to the Nets and Russell Westbrook, and a slew of draft picks to the Houston Rockets.
Simmons also notes that the turmoil surrounding Irving over the past few seasons could affect how potential suitors view his commercial value.
“Kyrie doesn’t have nearly as much commercial value as many fans might think after the last four years.” Simmons said via his Twitter account on June 20th. “The dollar costs about 30-35 cents. I still think Kyrie opting for a wait and see final year with Brooklyn is the most likely outcome.
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On June 20, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Irving and the Nets had reached a “dead end” in talks over a contract extension. If he chooses to become a free agent, the Lakers, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers are said to be interested in the all-star guard.
“One of the most anticipated free agency situations involves Brooklyn resident Kyrie Irving, who has a June 29 deadline for his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season. However, multiple sources tell The Athletic that talks between him and the Nets over Irving’s future have stalled. An impasse currently exists between the parties, clearing the way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open market,” Charania writes for The Athletic.
“It appears both sides have serious work to do to find a solution that will bring Irving back to Brooklyn and his co-star in Durant, who is signed with the Nets through 2025-26. Several teams in the league have been keeping tabs on the situation and are concerned about the future of Irving and Brooklyn. The Lakers, Knicks and Clippers are expected to be among the interested applicants if Irving goes elsewhere.
A trade with the Lakers would reunite Kyrie with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. And while a remix of the team that defeated the 73-9 Golden State Warriors would be a feel-good story, Charania notes that getting him to Los Angeles will be a “tough” road.
“For the Lakers, the likely path to acquiring Irving — and reuniting him with LeBron James — would be Irving deciding to trade because the Lakers realistically can’t create a place to sign him themselves and a sign- and-Trade would trigger the hard cap, making it significantly more difficult to acquire Irving,” writes Charania.
“If Irving chose to do so, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka would have to comply with the wage adjustment rules of the collective agreement, which means that if Irving’s $36.6 million was the only incoming salary, the Lakers would be between $29.3 million and $45.8 million to send to Nets and/or a third team in a legal deal.”
Irving has until June 29 to decide on the final year of his contract. Buckle up Nets fans, this free agency period is already proving to be quite a ride.
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