Windhorst: People around NBA still don't think Kyrie Irving situation is fully resolved

By , Audacy

The Kyrie Irving situation has reached a resolution.

For now.

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Irving, after a stretch of uncertainty about his future in Brooklyn, now reportedly intends to opt into the final year of his contract with the Nets. He’ll now make roughly $36 million next season before becoming a free agent next offseason.

The star guard returning to Brooklyn never seemed like a sure thing, but the Nets stood firm on their position. However, Irving can be unpredictable, and Brooklyn, at least publicly, seemed like it was prepared for him to move on. But despite the fact that Irving isn’t looking like he’ll be a free agent this summer, some people around the NBA don’t believe the situation is fully resolved.

"I know that there are people in the league, and we’re not talking about ancillary people, we’re talking about high-ranking people, who believe that this is not done,” ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said on his “Hoop Collective” podcast.

“Let me just say this about the Lakers, he obviously was very interested in joining the Lakers, the Lakers were very interested in having him. The problem is that the Lakers can’t really – right now I think if you’re a Laker fan you’re kind of let down that this door closed. And I’m not saying open it back up, but I’m saying don’t quite lock the lock yet. Depending on what the Nets want to achieve, it’s not impossible that that could be revisited, this time in trade form. …

“A couple of days ago, when Shams (Charania) reported that Kyrie could opt into his contract and then look for a trade, I think that’s what Kyrie’s preference was.. … I know Kyrie’s saying I’ll go (to camp) in the fall, but maybe Kyrie is just like OK, this is my strategy move, now I’m going to take your money and now I’m going to be a problem until you trade me, I’m going to be a worse problem. And maybe he doesn’t even have to do anything, maybe just the threat of what he can be will do it. All I’m saying is I’m afraid this is not over.”

The Nets’ roster doesn’t lack talent, it’s just that the pieces have to come together. If Irving is back and Ben Simmons is able to play, then that combination with Kevin Durant and a returning cast that includes Seth Curry and Joe Harris should, theoretically, be able to compete in the East.

After what we watched last season, that’s a lot of ifs. But the alternative for Brooklyn very well might place the Nets in a worse spot, so at this point maybe weathering that perceived threat is the best course of action.

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