Brian Windhorst claims people around NBA believe Kyrie Irving-Nets drama is NOT over
After plenty of hubbub and reporting suggesting the Brooklyn Nets were preparing to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this offseason, Irving announced Monday that he will exercise his player option for 2022-23 and be back with the Nets. Furthermore, while Irving will be opting in, he apparently won’t be looking for a trade.
This would seem to end the Irving drama for the Nets, at least for now, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says people around the NBA are skeptical. On the latest episode of The Hoop Collective pod, Windy revealed what he has been hearing on this situation after Kyrie’s decision (h/t RealGM):
“I think it turned down the heat in at least kept the Nets with two star players, with all of their options for next year alive,” said Brian Windhorst. “And, boy, was that not what some people, agents and executives thought. They don’t think this is over.”
“Now, Kyrie tried to make it sound like it was over. ‘I’ll see you in the fall’ sounds like it’s over.”
Windy went on to say that Irving did not tell the Nets about his decision before it went public. He also reiterated that people around the league don’t really believe Kyrie is actually all in:
“I don’t know if anything has changed,” said Windhorst. “The people I talk to in the league are skeptical that Kyrie is going to be all for one and one for all on this.”
Kyrie apparently couldn’t find much sign-and-trade interest around the league, and the notion that he would take the taxpayer mid-level exception of around $6 million with the Los Angeles Lakers seems to have been just a leverage play. However, Windy apparently doesn’t want to rule out a move to the Lakers in the near future:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2022
Irving could still push for a trade after opting in, but that doesn’t seem to be his move at the moment. Of course, it’s only natural for people to be skeptical with him given he can be such a wild card.
For now, it seems Irving will give it at least one more go with Kevin Durant in 2022-23. If things go well, maybe he signs a long-term extension without much fuss and the drama is truly behind us. If things go bad, though, the situation will get interesting again. Or maybe there truly will be another twist in this saga this summer.