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NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving 'Fully Supportive' of Kevin Durant's Nets Trade Request

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is reportedly "fully supportive" of Kevin Durant's trade request away from the team, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (h/t RealGM).

Durant and Irving reportedly cut communication with the Nets after Irving opted into his player option for the 2022-23 season, an ordeal that included Irving unsuccessfully seeking sign-and-trade scenarios:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had no contact with the franchise after Irving opted into his deal on Monday, and a sense of inevitability existed that Durant would eventually ask for a trade, sources tell ESPN. It happened today.

It seems likely Irving will be moving on from the Nets as well this offseason, with B/R's Jake Fischer reporting that the veteran point guard is still seeking to reunite with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.

"This gives the Lakers their best chance at Kyrie," a cap strategist for an NBA team told Fischer.

An immediate trade will be tough, as the Lakers would need to ship out Russell Westbrook to pair Irving with James and Anthony Davis. Given that the Nets probably will be looking to retool around Ben Simmons and a combination of young stars and draft picks in any Durant or Irving trades, any deal that involves absorbing Westbrook's huge contract may be a non-starter.

But if Irving makes it clear that any team that trades for him will only be getting a one-year rental until he signs with the Lakers as a free agent, it could seriously diminish his trade market. That, combined with the uncertainty and unpredictability that Irving has brought to the table throughout his career, could leave his trade value far below what it should be for a player of his caliber.

On the court, Irving is a one-time champion and seven-time All-Star who averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists in 29 games for the Nets last season. The 30-year-old is one of the most exciting players to watch in the league, with lightning-quick handles and the ability to score at all three levels.

But it seems likely that Irving's time in Brooklyn has a very clear expiration date at this point, and if the Nets want to garner any assets for his imminent departure, this is the summer to do so.

They might just have to accept taking pennies on the dollar.

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