Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston. Irving’s camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.
Reading the tea leaves on Irvings impending free agent decision may require people to pay attention to superstar forward Kevin Durant and his own free agency, as the two teaming up in New York or Los Angeles has emerged as the most likely option for Irving ahead of free agency. Yet, the benefit of the Nets like the Los Angeles Lakers — having an All-Star thats currently on the roster is that like the Lakers, the Nets dont have to rely on wooing Durant to sign Irving.
However, SNY reports that the Nets would ideally like to pair Irving with Durant rather than Russell. Thats a no-brained even if the Nets have rightfully developed an affinity for Russell after he completed his first All-Star season. Especially with reports that Durant will take a long look at signing with the Nets this summer.
SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.
It would appear that Irving is long past the days when he committed to re-signing with Boston, a decision he announced publicly and that was made to quiet any concern that he wanted to play elsewhere.
The mercurial playmaker has been doing his rounds this offseason, researching the Lakers as a potential destination and parlaying with LeBron James at Hyde Sunset in Los Angeles.
Hes long shown an interest in signing with the Knicks and the overwhelming majority of people believe he and Durant will sign with New York in the offseason, with ESPNs Stephen A. Smith reporting theres a 95 percent chance the two stars will team up in the Big Apple.
If I had to rank Irvings top-five potential destinations in order, the Knicks would top the list, with the Nets, Lakers, Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers rounding out the rest of the group, in that order.
They have young and talented players with a gritty, underdog mentality as well as a coaching staff thats placed an emphasis on player development, details and execution. Going to Brooklyn, Irving would once again be seen as the primary leader unless Durant signed rather than the Nets re-signing Russell.
Lastly, Irving and Russell are two guards who can play in either backcourt position while possessing the ball-handling ability, passing vision, scoring prowess and killer mentality to make them the most deadly backcourt duo in the Eastern Conference. In many ways, they would be the East Coasts version of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who took the Portland Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals this postseason in a notoriously tougher conference.
The Nets reached the Eastern Conference Playoffs as a sixth-seed without Irving so adding a player of his caliber all but guarantees that they would be one of the top four teams in the East next season. If theres movement in the conference this offseason that includes an MVP-caliber talent in Kawhi Leonard moving back out West, then theres even more reason to believe that Brooklyn could even be the best team in the Eastern Conference next season.
Of course, the ultra-competitive Irving already knows all this and its likely one of the biggest reasons the Nets have gained steam as a potential suitor this offseason. The bottom-line for Irving seems to be playing somewhere he can win a championship and playing for a team that fits his personality.
There may have been too many egos clashing in Boston for Irving to feel comfortable but that doesnt seem to be the case with Brooklyn. Aside from Russell, the Nets dont seem to have taken on any players with a large ego and that could also help Brooklyn land a splash free agent or two.
There is “mutual interest” between the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving, according to Anthony Puccio of SNY.tv.
Irving has been monitoring the Nets development this season and is considering signing with the team, according to sources.
The Nets are also said to be interested in signing Irving even if they re-sign DAngelo Russell, who is a restricted free agent. The team would ideally like to pair two max free agents together, but are open to pairing Irving and Russell in their backcourt.
Irving and Russell reportedly have a good relationship, with both players having played for Kevin Boyle in high school.