Three short years ago, the Brooklyn Nets were seemingly locked in to win at least one title in the near future.
Fast forward two years and James Harden is brought in at the trade deadline to form one of the most impressive trios of offensive players in NBA history.
Things have not gone according to plan since that time.
Injuries derailed a potentially promising playoff run from the Nets last postseason.
And the latest bout of Irving’s antics regarding the COVID-19 vaccine sabotaged this season.
Harden became fed up with Irving and requested another trade.
Between Harden’s departure, Irving’s lack of availability, and Durant’s injuries, the Nets squeaked into the playoffs as the seven seed.
They proceeded to get swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
Sources: Kevin Durant is monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future.
This now opens the path for Kyrie Irving to proceed on finding a new home via opt-in and trade.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2022
And now there are reports that the talks between Irving and Brooklyn on his contract extension have stagnated.
Those reports have been followed by rumors that Durant could also be on the move if Irving finds a new home.
Is it time the Nets go headfirst into a full rebuild?
Will Irving Actually Leave The Nets?
The smoke surrounding the Irving issue has increased in the past week.
The original noise at the end of the season sounded like more of a negotiation tactic from both sides to gain leverage.
But it has grown into more than that recently.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Irving has a list of preferred teams if he is included in a sign-and-trade.
His preferred landing spots include the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers.
REPORT: The Los Angeles Lakers are considered “the most significant threat” to land Kyrie Irving if he leaves the Nets.
Wow, wow, wow.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) June 22, 2022
Irving must make a decision on his player option by next Wednesday, June 29.
Irving and the Nets cannot officially discuss the framework of any new deal until June 30 when free agency begins.
Recent reports seem there is something there regarding Irving leaving.
But more time will be required to see if anything comes to fruition.
Until a substantiated report comes out that deals are coming in for Irving, it seems more likely Irving will return to the Nets.
But time will tell as we get closer to free agency.
Stars Win Titles
If it comes out that Irving legitimately wants to leave Brooklyn, the Nets’ priority should be keeping their two stars around.
Since 2000, there have been only two to four teams who won a title without employing a top five to ten player in the league.
When it comes to winning it all, stars are the most important part of the puzzle.
And Durant and Irving are bona fide stars in the NBA.
29 other NBA teams would love to employ their talents.
Entering a full reset would decrease Brooklyn’s chances of winning a title, regardless of what they get in return.
Any team trading for Durant or Irving would do so to better their odds of winning a title.
Meaning their best player would be untouchable in any deal.
Until Irving and Durant specifically request trades to leave the franchise, Brooklyn should not be looking to rebuild.