A year ago, many NBA pundits were picking the Brooklyn Nets to win the NBA Title. A year later, the franchise appears on the precipice of implosion after a disappointing season and its fallout.
The Nets came into the 2021-2022 NBA season with the hope that their trio of superstars, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, would lead them to Eastern Conference domination. Instead, Irving missed most of the season over COVID vaccine issues, Harden became disinterested as he usually does, and Durant dealt with injuries. Even when they traded Harden for Ben Simmons, their new star never saw the floor as the team limped out of the playoffs in the first round.
Afterward, the Nets coached their optimism about Irving’s future with the franchise and rumors started to dribble out about Durant’s dissatisfaction. In recent days, rumors of Kyrie potentially being traded have heated up.
Thursday, with the 2022 NBA Draft just hours away, a report by Adrian Wojnarowski and another by Shams Charania poured gas on the notion that both Irving and Durant could be playing for other teams much sooner than later.
First, Woj reported that Irving has a list of teams that he would approve a trade to if he can’t reach an agreement with Brooklyn, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers.
ESPN Sources: If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
A couple of minutes later, Shams reported that Durant is “monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future.”
Sources: Kevin Durant is monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future.
This now opens the path for Kyrie Irving to proceed on finding a new home via opt-in and trade.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2022
This sent the NBA world into a tizzy wondering where Irving and Durant might end up playing if one or both of them decide they want to leave the Nets. There’s certainly a ways to go and a lot to figure out, but Brooklyn’s implosion certainly creates some interesting scenarios.
Omg I already have a headache https://t.co/Jkxq53mAbg
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) June 23, 2022
— Kofie (@Kofie) June 23, 2022
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) June 23, 2022
The Rockets have control of the Nets first-round pick each year through 2027. The Nets demise could be franchise altering for Houston. https://t.co/hOiQ7I7Ae3
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) June 23, 2022
KD on the Grizzlies is a championship. https://t.co/d0v98Mp8xv
— Joe Mullinax (@JoeMullinax) June 23, 2022
The idea of Irving going to Philly to reunite with Harden makes me giggle. https://t.co/Z4CkykKlME
— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) June 23, 2022
— TRILLBLAZIN (@TRILLBLAZIN) June 23, 2022
Well then. At least a few of the teams (Lakers included) on Kyrie's rumored list would require it to be an opt-in and trade rather than a sign-and-trade since the latter triggers a hard cap. Let's get crazy https://t.co/fBjvdxmvfH
— Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) June 23, 2022
Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild NBA offseason, for the Brooklyn Nets and perhaps the rest of the league.