Starting with the James HardenBen Simmons trade in February, the Brooklyn Nets have seen their whole “big 3” core completely crumble in less than two seasons. First with Harden heading to Philly and now with Kevin Durant, who reportedly wants out of Brooklyn after only a few seasons in the Big Apple.

Although he opted into his $36.9 million player option, Durant’s teammate and best friend Kyrie Irving is also expected to be a part of a historical trade for the 12-time All-Star.

During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today, Stephen A. Smith claimed that no matter where Irving lands this offseason, his ultimate goal is to head to L.A. to team up with LeBron James again, this time on the Lakers.

“Kyrie Irving is telling everybody he plans on going to LA meaning the Lakers, as soon as he possibly can,” Smith said Thursday. “When he becomes a free agent after this season is over, he plans on rejoining LeBron James in a Lakers uniform.”

This is quite the bombshell considering most believe Irving wants to continue playing with Durant, just not in Brooklyn. According to multiple reports, the top picks on Durant’s list of teams he wants to be traded to are the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns.

Irving was first rumored to potentially do a sign-and-trade deal with the team giving him permission. However, he decided to opt into his player option, which led even the biggest Kyrie skeptics to believe the All-Star point guard will be playing one more season with the Nets.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, both Durant and Irving have not had contact with the franchise after Irving signed his player option, adding that whether the two decided to part ways and head to different teams, both players have likely played their last game with the Nets.

“Everybody’s in play in Brooklyn, certainly. I think it’s very likely that not only Kevin Durant but Kyrie Irving have played their last games for the Nets,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Thursday on NBA Today.

“They’ve wanted to play together, they want to continue to play together, but the sense is they don’t want to do it together in Brooklyn anymore.”

It will certainly be interesting to see where both players land. Knowing Irving’s mindset, it will be hard to predict exactly what his overall plan is. Only time will tell.

[Clutch Points]

About Jasper Jones

A native east coaster via Connecticut, Jasper is a writer for The Comeback and Audacy Sports. He decided to head south for college, attending the University of Kentucky and graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to joining The Comeback, Jones spent a year writing for FanSided's college football blog, Saturday Blitz, covering news surrounding the sport and recruiting. He spent the same amount of time doing some freelance work for the tabloid/sports outlet BlackSportsOnline. In his free time, Jones loves to cheer on his Kentucky Wildcats, collect sneakers, read a good book, and get in some gains at the gym. You can follow him on Twitter @jonesj2342.