The team has given the mercurial star permission to engage other teams in sign-and-trade talks, according to The Daily News. It’s the latest sign Irving will not pick up his player option by Wednesday’s deadline and will try to find a long-term deal elsewhere. It also casts further doubt on Kevin Durant’s future in Brooklyn.
From The News:
While Nets GM Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to speak this offseason, Irving’s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began.
Irving has a well-documented wish list of potential landing spots. The Clippers, Heat Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks and 76ers are said to be on it. But the viability of each potential suitor remains to be seen.
The News reports an Irving-for-Russell Westbrook swap with the Lakers is unlikely. The Knicks and Mavericks are set to conduct a bidding war for Jalen Brunson. James Harden got traded to Philly to get away from Irving. And do the Clippers and/or Heat even want Irving? It’s not like he’s going to get a vaccine or stop finding ways to not play in a new city.
As for Durant: It feels like we are moving toward a trade demand in slow motion. There is an ominous report about him “contemplating” or “monitoring” or something along those lines every other day. He seemingly has an endless amount of patience with Irving, even going as far as to reportedly blame the Nets for not understanding why Irving acts the way he has. And the Nets have few good options to put together a championship-caliber roster on the fly without Irving. It’s hard to imagine Durant is going to stick around without him.
What a debacle.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]