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Kevin Durant Reportedly Hasn't Spoken to Nets' Front Office Since Playoff Sweep

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant hasn't spoken with the team's front office since being swept in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, according to the New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield.

This comes against the backdrop of Kyrie Irving potentially hitting free agency. Irving can opt out of his four-year, $136.5 million contract this summer.

The Nets' last game was on April 25. After such a disappointing outcome—Brooklyn was swept by the Boston Celtics—it's natural for all of the key parties to take time off to decompress.

A star player going a month without speaking with team officials doesn't seem like a tremendous cause for concern on its face.

In the case of the Nets, however, Irving presents a major conundrum, and general manager Sean Marks will want some input from Durant before making a final decision.

Winfield reported the team is "outright unwilling to give [Irving] a long-term extension" because of his injury history and decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If Irving feels alienated by that stance and decides to leave for greener pastures, it could have consequences for the franchise, per Winfield:

"In layman’s terms, if Irving leaves the Nets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Durant becomes frustrated with the organization’s ability to put championship pieces around him. They failed to do so at the beginning of last season, with none of their top offseason acquisitions — James Johnson, DeAndre' Bembry or Jevon Carter — finishing the year in Brooklyn."

This was one of the downsides to signing Durant and Irving as a package deal.

While nobody could've foreseen the exact circumstances of Brooklyn's current predicament, Irving has battled injuries throughout his career and grown discontented at his two previous stops. The gamble backfiring on the Nets is an outcome that seemed predictable from the moment Irving signed.

Durant has already signed a four-year, $194.2 million extension that begins with the 2022-23 season, but that might provide little in the way of security.

Should the Nets fail to resolve the Irving situation to his satisfaction, it stands to reason the 12-time All-Star might begin to question his future.

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