In the latest discussion of how Kevin Durant feels about the increasingly melodramatic Kyrie Irving contract talks, Adrian Wojnarowski says KD has told the Nets he will not ask for a trade, but rather an explanation of how the Nets would “reconfigure” their roster to keep the team a championship contender “in the near-term.”
“I’m told that Kevin Durant has not told the Nets that if Kyrie Irving leaves, that means he’s going to ask for a trade,” said Woj, speaking live from the NBA Draft at Barclays Center late Thursday afternoon. “What Kevin Durant wants to know, like any other star of his stature, that if Kyrie Irving does walk, if he does take that mid-level exception with the Lakers, what would a reconfigured Nets team look like, how they would try to reshape the roster so the Nets would be able to return, in the near term and have a championship contender.”
Woj also said that the Nets and KD are in continuing conversations.
“And those will certainly be the questions that Kevin Durant is going to have for the Nets. That’s a conversation I believe they have had. You’re always having a conversation with your best player. But I’m told again that Kevin Durant has not told the Nets that if Kyrie Irving leaves, that means he is going to ask for a trade. he’s got four years left on his contract.
Finally, Woj said that the Nets are aware of “the connection, the affinity” Durant has with Irving and that is part of the negotiations.
“He signed the extension last year, but certainly the Nets are aware of the connection, the affinity that Kevin Durant has for Kyrie Irvingl,” Woj added.
“That’s why they have been trying to come up with a deal. It’s a negotiation that meets what Kryie Irving is willing to do and what the Nets are willing to do. Kevin Durant’s happiness is certainly part of that negotiation.”
The live shot came not long after Shams Charania posted a vague tweet that Durant is “monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future,” information that is widely believed to emanate from Irving’s camp.
Not long after Woj’s live shot, Shams spoke as well on Stadium’s NBA Draft coverage, reiterating the information in his earlier tweet…
Shams, however, suggested that Irving is further along in his exit plans.
“There’s now an expectation that Kyrie Irving will now proceed shortly into finding a new home,” Shams said. “via an opt in-and-trade potential situation and there are several teams he would like to consider.”
And Kristian Winfield who first reported that the Nets and Irving were headed for a difficult negotiation, reported that the first offer that Brooklyn made to Irving was unacceptable.
In May, a source who requested anonymity because of the nature of the negotiations told The News the Nets wanted Irving to opt into the final year of his contract worth $36.5M in order to “prove” he deserves a long-term deal. For a star player with a very real injury history, a one-year deal is a non-starter.
Then just as the Draft began, Ian Begley of SNY reported that Sean Marks and Joe Tsai are fully in sync.