Kyrie Irving’s future with the Brooklyn Nets appears to be murky and if no deal on an extension is made, it is possible he could end up across the river with the New York Knicks.
NBA insider Shams Charania reported on Monday that Irving and the Nets are at an impasse on negotiations for a contract extension and that the Knicks, Lakers and Clippers may emerge as potential suitors if Irving indeed splits from the Nets.
The polarizing 30-year-old point guard has a $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season, which he must exercise by June 29 or become a free agent.
After the Nets were swept by the Boston Celtics in a first-round playoff exit in April, Irving said he did not plan on going anywhere when asked about his future.
Yet, per Charania, both sides have “serious work to do” in order to bring Irving back as several teams around the league are keeping tabs on the situation.
Should the Knicks emerge as a contender for Irving, the most likely path could be a possible sign-and-trade, according to Charania. The Knicks would need to clear salary cap space in order to sign Irving to a maximum contract and could potentially include players such as Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kemba Walker in a possible trade package for Irving.
Irving’s talent is undeniable. In three seasons with the Nets, Irving has averaged 27.2 points, 6.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game and shot 40.4% from three-point range.
However, the All-Star played in just 29 games last year because of his decision not to comply with New York City’s vaccine mandate, making him ineligible for home games until the city changed its rules shortly before the postseason.
Irving has also garnered a not-so-great reputation within the media and among former teammates for the way he left the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.