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    Will Kevin Durant Decide Kyrie Irving’s Future With the Nets?

    Basketball   |   June 28, 2022


    When the Brooklyn Nets signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in 2019 they envisioned a dynasty down the road. Three years later, not only have they failed to win a championship but they were also swept from the first round of the NBA playoffs last season.

    Kyrie Irving has one year left on his contract – a player option for $36.5 million. Given that he is coming off a season in which he played just 29 games because he refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Nets don’t feel like rewarding him with a new massive contract.

    Over three years in Brooklyn, Irving has played in less than half of the Nets’ games. According to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway, the decision about Kyrie Irving’s future will ultimately fall on Kevin Durant.

    “So that is a literal multi-million dollar question here, not only in the next week as we figure out what Kyrie’s going to do with that player option, but moving forward because they just don’t know if that is a dynamic duo that will hold long-term,” Conway wrote.

    “They want to get a clear answer from Kevin. And we’ve talked about it for months: Everything in that Brooklyn organization revolves around Kevin Durant. If KD wants Kyrie back, he’ll be back. If KD signs off on ‘eh, I don’t know if it can work, I don’t know if I can trust him out there every night,’ then Kyrie may be elsewhere.”

    Based on that, we could assume that Irving will stay in Brooklyn. After all, KD has expressed his admiration for Irving on numerous occasions. Having said that, during a recent appearance on SportsCenter, NBA insider Nick Friedell suggested that things weren’t entirely as they appeared.

     “At every turn publicly, [Kevin Durant] has been there to support [Kyrie Irving], to say we need Kyrie, to say Kyrie can win a title with me here in Brooklyn,” Friedell said (via SB Nation).

    “But I can tell you, I’ve been talking to people in the organization the last couple of weeks, when they finally sit down and talk to Kevin throughout the summer, they are trying to figure out if Kevin saw what everybody else saw. …

    The reason that whole season got sidetracked was because they couldn’t count on Kyrie, and they didn’t know if he was going to be out there. And the issue with Kevin is, he wants to win badly, he wants to be loyal to his friend. But I’ve been told that relationship, while very close, isn’t always as close as it appears to be.”

    While Kevin Durant has been supportive of Kyrie Irving over the past year, he has made it clear that he wished his teammate would have played more last season.

    This is shaping up to be a big offseason for the Nets. What the Nets decide to do with Irving will have massive ramifications for many years to come.

    Will the Nets deem Irving worth it despite all the potential headaches he brings or will they move on? We could have an answer in the coming days and weeks.


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