REPORTS: Tensions Rise Between “Frustrated” Kevin Durant and Nets Amidst Potential Kyrie Irving Exit

Published 05/26/2022, 12:30 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts to guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Pistons 130-123. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving could potentially opt out of his remaining year of the Nets contract and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Rumors are brewing that such a situation could end up in Kevin Durant leaving the Nets for good.

The Brooklyn Nets resurrected themselves from the dead by signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019 and became an instant betting favorite to win the East. The media presented them as the nemesis of LeBron’s Lakers.

The Nets cleared their cap flexibility to sign James Harden from the Rockets and pretty much create a post-Warriors superteam. The championship seemed to be a done deal at this point.

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But three years later, the Nets are on the verge of falling apart.

Kevin Durant’s future with the Nets

Recent reports have suggested that if  Irving opts out of his contract, Durant may be on the way too.

In layman’s terms, if Irving leaves the Nets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Durant becomes frustrated with the organization’s ability to put championship pieces around him. They failed to do so at the beginning of last season, with none of their top offseason acquisitions — James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry or Jevon Carter — finishing the year in Brooklyn.”

As a matter of fact, KD hasn’t spoken to the front office after the Nets got swept by the Celtics in the postseason. At 33 years old, he is definitely not in a position to wait one or two years for the franchise to build a team around him.

The Kyrie Irving situation

Apart from injuries, a major reason behind the failure of the Nets’ superteam is Kyrie Irving’s irregularity. Irving played only 29 games this season because of his decision to not get vaccinated.

In the previous season, he missed a lot of games citing undisclosed personal reasons. The Nets’ big three didn’t really get the opportunity to gel properly.

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In the meantime, James Harden got fed up with the situation and left Brooklyn. And now both Kyrie and KD could follow. The Nets might be a little skeptical in offering Irving a max contract because of the situations in the past. But if he leaves, they have nothing to offer Durant.

Ben Simmons’ return is uncertain next season after back surgery. Meanwhile, the Nets have no cap flexibility left after the Harden trade.

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The Nets have one month to decide their next step moving forward.

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Satagni Sikder

157 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

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