Kyrie Irving seems to be laying the groundwork for leaving brooklyn network this summer.
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise his $36 million player option for next season. He discussed a new contract with the Nets as that deadline approached. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving provided the Nets with a list of teams he’d like to be traded to if the two sides can’t reach a new deal.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Irving is leaving Brooklyn, but it’s definitely a sign that he’s very open to it. If he wants to play for another team, the Nets would rather get something of value in return. That’s why they may want Irving to opt in to facilitate signing and trading.
As Wojnarowski mentioned, there is no team that Irving wants to play for as there is enough salary cap to sign him as a free agent. That’s another reason signing and trading would make sense.
A separate report on Thursday claimed Kevin Durant also consider options for his future. Durant has a contract with the Nets until the end of the 2025-26 season, but he’ll probably want a fresh start elsewhere if Irving leaves.
It’s also entirely possible that Irving and Durant are trying to put pressure on the Nets. Nets are said to be hesitant to sign a long-term contract with Kyrie because of all the drama surrounding him in recent years. Perhaps Durant is trying to support his best friend by helping Irving get a new contract.