The Brooklyn Nets hardly got a taste of what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving can do on the court together. Between Durant’s injuries and Irving’s lack of availability for much […]
The Brooklyn Nets hardly got a taste of what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving can do on the court together. Between Durant’s injuries and Irving’s lack of availability for much of the 2021-22 NBA season due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, it’s hard to say the Nets got a fair chance to evaluate the pairing of Durant and Irving.
Now, entering the 2022 NBA offseason, Irving’s future in Brooklyn is in doubt. After spending three seasons with the Nets (appearing in just 103 regular season games,) Irving could hit the open market in free agency this summer.
Irving does hold a $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season, but reportedly wants a new deal with the Nets. While Durant has publically expressed his desire for Irving to remain with the Nets, Brooklyn and the seven-time All-Star point guard are reportedly at a contract impasse, per NBA insider Shams Charania.
Naturally, some big-name suitors have immediately entered the conversation: the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Each destination would be incredibly juicy, drama-filled, and give Irving the chance to compete for an NBA Championship in a new context.
Obviously, staying with Durant in Brooklyn is one surefire way to stay in the potential NBA Finals mix. But what if Irving hops across town to Madison Square Garden, joins Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett, and tries to become New York’s new top dog? Watching Irving’s Knicks and Durant’s Nets go head-to-head four times per season would be a fun sight for basketball fans and analysts.
Leaving Brooklyn for the the Los Angeles Lakers would shake up the league even more, however. Irving would re-join LeBron James to reform the duo that ended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship drought with an NBA Finals win over the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Assuming Irving’s arrival would mean Russell Westbrook’s departure, the Lakers could form a new big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving. There’s been a fair amount of super teams in the last decade in the NBA, but when healthy, that could be one of the scariest Big Three’s of all-time.
The Los Angeles Clippers have also been pegged as a potential suitor for Irving: in which case Irving could team up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for a completely different type of big three.
Where will Kyrie Irving play in 2022-23? Can his situation with the Nets be resolved, allowing Brooklyn another shot at a title following an abrupt playoff exit last season? Will Irving jump ship for the cross-town rival Knicks, or go back to his roots and join LeBron James in Los Angeles? Could another team enter the mix and make a play for Irving’s services?
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