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Kyrie Irving Trade Rumors: Nets 'Made It Clear' They Plan to Keep PG Amid Lakers Buzz

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 22, 2022

Kyrie Irving (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly "made clear to interested teams" that they don't plan to trade point guard Kyrie Irving ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday that Irving, who's been heavily linked to a potential reunion with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, has been "holding constructive dialogue" with the Nets' front office throughout the offseason.

Brooklyn appeared to be on the precipice of blowing up it's star-studded roster for most of the summer, but it now may be trying to keep the band together.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Thursday (h/t HoopsHype) that Irving is "invested" in remaining with the Nets and the focus has shifted to Kevin Durant's decision following his trade request in late June.

"Right now, I think the Nets want to run this team back and they're hoping Kevin Durant agrees," Windhorst said. "The way they're conducting trade talks and the prices they are asking has teams out there thinking they don't really want to trade Kevin Durant anyway. They want to bring this team back."

Brooklyn is coming off a 2021-22 campaign that was riddled by injuries and drama, but the talent on the roster is enough to keep the team in the championship conversation.

Durant, Irving, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris and Seth Curry is a strong core, and Brooklyn also has plenty of depth, including Royce O'Neale, Nicolas Claxton, Cam Thomas, Patty Mills and T.J. Warren. Day'Ron Sharpe and Kessler Edwards could also push for playing time.

There are still questions about Durant's level of investment after seeking an exit and Simmons' ability to make an impact after sitting out all of last season, but the skill in that rotation is enough to make a deep playoff run.

The other interesting aspect of the recent reporting is it appears Irving may stay in Brooklyn this season even if a Durant trade eventually comes to fruition. It sounds like the point guard has found common ground with the franchise after picking up the player option for the final season of his four-year, $136.5 million contract.

An adjustment period is on the horizon as he gets prepared to play alongside Simmons, another traditionally ball-dominant player. But having two players with vast experience running an offense on the floor together could create a lot of issues for opposing defenses.

A lot could still change for the Nets before they tip off the regular season on Oct. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans, but an Irving trade appears to be growing more unlikely.

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