Lewis: Kyrie Irving ‘intends to play for Brooklyn with or without Durant’

Brian Lewis, citing a source close to Kyrie Irving, says the Nets goaltender “fully intends” to play in Brooklyn next season, with or without Kevin Durant. Additionally, the Post reporter writes that the Nets and KD’s camp have been in touch.

“How did we get to this situation on the trade, when he opted?” the source asked rhetorically. “Here is the situation. He chose to participate, meaning he had and intended to play with the Brooklyn Nets. KD decides he wants out and now everyone is talking about trading Kyrie, right?

“Kyrie didn’t ask for a trade. Now if the Nets don’t want him, that’s something totally different. Kyrie didn’t say he wanted a trade. He signed up. [So where did] where do business conversations come from? Is it because KD asked for a trade and now everyone wants to trade Ky? Kyrie agreed.

Indeed, the future of the two superstars has been lumped together with the assumption that the Nets are looking for business partners for both. Much of the rumors center around a deal with Irving that would send the guard to the Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook and draft compensation. (In the latest rumors, from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Nets want two first rounds while the Lakers hit back with a first and second round.)

“Kyrie wants to play. … He wants to win a championship and he wants to play,” the source told The Post, adding of the Durant situation, “I think when KD said he wanted a trade, he didn’t say that I was going to trade for where Kyrie is going.

Lewis also spoke about the status of the Nets’ relationship with Durant, who requested a trade on June 30, a day before the start of his four-year, $198 million contract. At the time, it was reported that Durant had not spoken with the Nets front. office in weeks.

Durant went largely somber after that, not responding to other stars trying to gauge his interest in teaming up with them. But the Nets have worked alongside business partner Rich Kleiman to try to facilitate a deal – but neither side has closed the door on a potential return to Brooklyn.

Now Lewis… and Stefan Bondy of the Daily News – let’s say there is contact between the Durant team and the franchise ownership/management.

So far, Brooklyn has received a plethora of offers, but none to his liking. The Nets are looking for a young All-Star and a treasure trove of choices — like first four rounds and trades — in exchange for Durant. But, of course, convincing him to stay is better.

With all parties involved in Las Vegas — including owners’ meetings on Tuesday night — Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai can sit down and talk face-to-face with whoever they need.

Lewis suggested that indeed, with no trade for Durant on the horizon – and with NBA general managers going on post-Summer League vacation – cooler heads could prevail.

Lewis’ story and Bondy’s tweet follow Ian Eagle’s podcast on Monday, also indicating there is hope to pick things up for the 2022-23 season.

“[W]With each passing day, I think there is a greater chance that both parties will find common ground,” Eagle said on a Canadian podcast, “might determine that it is in the best interests of both parties. to play this for a year, the length of Kyrie Irving’s contract, see if they can win a championship with the band they’re in, then go back and re-examine if it’s something worth playing revisited.

As we noted, none of the key players – Durant, Irving, Sean Marks and Joe Tsai – have publicly said anything that would prevent reopening what is an interwoven dialogue. Of course, there are also no details as to why Durant wants to be traded in the first place or how things got to this point.

Lewis also asked NBA commissioner Adam Silver his opinion on KD’s decision to request a trade before his extension even went into effect.

Silver added: “It’s one of those issues that as we enter this round of collective bargaining – we intend to speak with our players’ association and see if there are any remedies to this. … We don’t want it to go like this. It’s now.”


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