Many within the basketball community agree, Kyrie Irving is one of the most talented players currently in the NBA. A seven-time All-Star, Irving forms a superstar duo with Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets, but after a disappointing first-round playoff exit, it’s possible the pairing splits up.
Adding in the fact that Irving has a $36.9 million player option decision to make this offseason, and there’s further reason to believe the superduo could be breaking up.
Kyrie Irving contract extension talks not going well
Kyrie Irving likely wants to discuss a long-term contract extension before making the decision of whether to pick up or decline his player option to keep him in Brooklyn for the 2022-23 season. This is fairly standard procedure as players try and determine where their future stands with their current organization.
For max-level contract players like Irving, discussions usually aren’t that difficult, as franchises rarely want to let their superstars go.
Yet, there’s recent momentum suggesting Irving’s contract negotiations with the Nets may not be going well, which could lead to a divorce altogether, leading Irving to decline his player option, immediately becoming a free agent.
According to Shams Charania, Irving and the Nets are now at ‘an impasse‘ regarding the star point guard’s future in Brooklyn. If Irving and the Nets are unable to find common ground, the 30-year-old would then be able to sign with any team he likes. Another option is the Nets working with other teams around the league on a sign-and-trade. This would allow the team to get something in return for allowing Irving to choose his next destination.
Related: Top 2022 NBA free agents: Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine poised to cash in this summer
Knicks, Lakers, Clippers expected to have interest in Kyrie Irving
If Irving and the Nets realize there’s no way to make things work together, several other teams around the league would have great interest in landing the former NBA Champion.
Charania’s report suggests the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are all potential suitors, and each team has a great need for improved point guard play. Of course, each situation varies, with none of them able to sign Irving outright. The Lakers may not have the trade assets necessary to swing such a trade, but Irving figures to have some say in where he lands too, and may be intrigued with playing alongside LeBron James once again.
Either way, there’s now reason to believe Irving returning to Brooklyn for a fourth season might not be a foregone conclusion, which could set up a fascinating summer around the NBA.
Related: 5 ideal Kyrie Irving landing spots in NBA free agency