With each passing day, it’s looking more and more likely that Kyrie Irving is going to leave the Brooklyn Nets, one way or another.
It has been rumored that he will ask the team to trade him, and now some are saying that if it doesn’t grant that request, he could simply opt out of his contract and take a massive pay cut to play with a team of his choice.
It has apparently left Kevin Durant feeling gloomy about the Nets’ prospects, and some are wondering if he himself will ask to be traded.
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
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 22, 2022
There are also fans who are wondering if Durant may do the unthinkable and get himself traded back to the Golden State Warriors, the team he won his two NBA championships with.
What if Kevin Durant demands a trade to the Warriors again? LOL pic.twitter.com/4NR32PoGMk
— Ricky Chu (@RikDaddy) June 23, 2022
Not only is such a trade unnecessary for both sides, but it would make Durant look even worse than he did when he first joined them in 2016 after they had won a league-record 73 games.
Durant’s Legacy Is Complicated
In some ways, Durant’s greatness as a player is undisputed.
He is one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen, and his game is as smooth as a bowl of finely churned ice cream.
For his career, Durant averages 27.2 points per game, which is fourth in NBA history, and in recent years he has significantly improved his passing and defense.
Even after tearing his Achilles three years ago, he appears to have lost nothing, and at age 33 he is still playing at a very high level.
But when he joined the Warriors, it was perceived as a very weak move, as it made them a superteam and made Durant seem as if he didn’t want to compete and earn a championship ring.
Granted, the Warriors needed him to win the world title in 2017 and 2018, but in general, the public doesn’t give Durant full credit for making it happen.
When Durant left to join Irving in Brooklyn in 2019, the critics were at it again, saying that Durant was meek and that he was leaving to try and “validate” his two championships.
That partnership hasn’t been successful, as the Nets haven’t even reached the Eastern Conference Finals with them.
Durant is very sensitive about his legacy and reputation, and he has gotten into spats with people on social media.
The Warriors Don’t Need Durant
Golden State has done just fine without the 2014 league MVP, and lots of credit must go to its front office for replenishing the team’s depth and talent level so quickly.
With Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, the reigning world champs have plenty of young talent to help Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green age gracefully while competing for more rings.
If Durant wants to leave Brooklyn while validating his two titles, perhaps he should go to a team such as the Memphis Grizzlies, who appear to be on the cusp of contending but need a legitimate co-superstar next to Ja Morant.
Or perhaps Durant and Irving will work things out, remain in Brooklyn and fulfill some of their tremendous potential as a duo.