Kyrie Irving Eyeing Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs, 76ers

Kyrie Irving, NBA trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets are speeding towards an inevitable divorce. The disputes over the NBA All-Star point guard’s contract extension doomed the relationship and will probably prevent any potential reconciliation between Irving and the team.

While Kyrie does hold a player option worth $36.5 million for the 2022-23 season, he’s seeking a long-term maximum contract extension from Brooklyn, something that the organization refuses to grant him. While his talent and production are certainly worth the money he’s seeking, and the Nets would be happy to pay him, it’s the length of his contract that the two sides can’t agree upon.

While discussions technically can’t take place until after June 30 when free agency officially begins, it’s been rumored that Brooklyn would like to sign Irving to a shorter deal preferably with a team option involved to ensure that the Nets hold some kind of leverage.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving has offered the Brooklyn Nets with a list of teams he’d consider playing for using a sign-and-trade, which includes the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Since signing his four-year deal with the Nets in 2019, Irving has played just 103 total regular season games in three seasons. Last year in particular, Brooklyn was irked by his refusal to get vaccinated which barred him from playing in their home games due to New York City’s vaccine mandate. His unavailability ultimately prevented the Nets from establishing any significant team chemistry and played a part in James Harden’s exit from the team.

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Due to their contract dispute and Irving’s unstable nature, the Nets have considered moving on from the talented, but controversial, scorer. Kyrie could technically decline his player option and enter unrestricted free agency, enabling him to sign with another team this offseason without needing Brooklyn’s assistance. The fear would be the implication such a move would have on Kevin Durant.

If Irving were to accept his player option, signing an extension with the Nets, and then being moved in a sign-and-trade deal enables Irving to land on any team in the league regardless of their cap space and ensure that he gets the most money possible in his contract.

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Since this also prevents the Brooklyn Nets from losing him for nothing in free agency, a sign-and-trade is a win-win scenario for both sides involved. As such, Kyrie Irving has reportedly given Brooklyn a preferred list of destinations for a sign-and-trade deal. It just remains to see which of the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, or Philadelphia 76ers would be not only able but willing to get a deal done.