Maggie & Perloff: Does Kyrie Irving need to join Lakers in order to save face?

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The pairing of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving hasn't gone according to plan for the title-starved Brooklyn Nets, and the superstars might not receive another chance to accomplish the championship goal together. According to a report from ESPN insider Brain Windhorst, the Nets are prepared to see both players leave the team this offseason, as they have no desire to relive any drama and "go through what they went through last season." Durant and Irving have only played 44 games together since joining Brooklyn, back in 2019.

Windhorst's massive report comes on the heels of multiple outlets confirming that the Nets have given Irving permission to seek sign-and-trade candidates, amid stalled contract negotiations. The 30-year-old guard reportedly has a list of preferred destinations, and NBA insider Shams Charania reported last week that Irving could push for a trade after exercising his $36 million player option for next season. Irving has until this Wednesday, June 29, to opt-in.

"Kyrie just has to go to the Lakers at this point. He has to go. It's the only way to save face in this whole thing," Maggie Gray said during Maggie and Perloff on Monday. "He looks so bad right now... LeBron's the only one who can get you out of this mess. Because he's the least popular player now for this type of shenanigans. Going to the Lakers is the only cover that'll help him save his reputation, because it's in tatters... It'd be totally insane for the Nets to meet him at the max number. He's got to go to LA... That's where I think it's going."

"Kyrie, you're saying, has now pinned himself in. So what's to stop Kyrie from changing his tune in three days -- like he has a hundred million times?" Perloff said. "We'll know by Wednesday if he opts-in and I bet he opts-in... Which is a better option for the Nets: that Kyrie leaves, KD stays, you build around KD. Or that they both leave and you start over? I think getting rid of Kyrie is the No. 1 priority. And I think this applies to the Lakers: Kyrie is trouble... Can't you see it going sideways? If there's Vegas odds, it's 70-30 that it goes sideways."

Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on Irving's future can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Maggie and Perloff Show on Twitter @MaggieandPerl and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.