Nets hesitant to sign Kyrie Irving without Kevin Durant?

By Vincent Frank
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s seemed like a foregone conclusion for some time now that Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving was going to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

While that might very well be the case, other factors could be complicating things.

The issue here is primarily Kevin Durant’s ruptured Achilles and the possibility that he re-signs with the Golden State Warriors.

According to Brian Lewis of the NY Post, Brooklyn is currently gauging whether it makes sense to sign Irving without a commitment from KD.

“The Post has confirmed Brooklyn might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving if he isn’t bringing the injured Durant with him,” Lewis noted.

Irving’s drama-filled 2018-19 campaign with Boston is now on the front burner among teams potentially looking to sign him. That’s no different in Brooklyn.

The Nets’ situation is complicated in that they have a restricted free agent in D’Angelo Russell who is coming off a career-best season and wants to continue building this thing in Brooklyn. Russell is also four years younger than Irving and comes without the baggage.

If the Nets were to somehow sign KD and Irving, they’d then have to renounce Russell while moving a combination of Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Taurean Prince in trades.

Lewis’ report also notes that other teams have backed off Irving due to similar concerns over how last season went in Boston.

As it relates to Durant and his potential future in Brooklyn, everything was thrown for a loop when the two-time champ suffered his Achilles injury in the NBA Finals.

There’s a growing belief within the Warriors’ organization that Durant will utimately re-sign in Northern California. Given that the Golden State can offer him $56 million more in guaranteed cash than any other team, that’s magnified even further.

Where that might leave Irving and the Nets is not yet known.