Kyrie Irving has received permission from the nets to talk with other teams for trade deals.
The genuine message from the Brooklyn Nets to Kyrie Irving:
A long-term maximum contract, in which you believe there is high demand for your services. Then you should look for a place where you can opt-in and trade on your own. As an aside, we’re not interested in signing Russell Westbrook.
Kyrie Irving must decide by Wednesday whether he will accept the $36.9 million he is owed for next season or become a free agent, and once he makes his choice, much of the leverage he has will be gone. According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, Irving’s relationship with the Nets has deteriorated to the point where the team has given him authority to pursue sign-and-trades (or opt-in and trades) on his own behalf.
“Multiple sources have confirmed that Irving’s camp has requested and obtained permission from the Nets to contact other clubs about sign-and-trade packages, despite the fact that Nets general manager Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to communicate this offseason.
Players and fans alike lament Irving’s departure and declare the end of the Seven-Eleven era”.
According to league insiders, the Clippers and Mavericks are not interested in trading for Irving, and the concept of teaming Irving and Harden in Philadelphia is absurd.
The remaining teams are the Lakers, the Knicks, and the Heat.
Sam Amick of The Athletic was told by unnamed sources that Irving is eager to join the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James apparently has no problem with the idea, and the acquisition of Kyrie Irving represents the Lakers’ best chance of returning to title contention this year. Yet, a universally acceptable opt-in and trade system is probably unattainable. It would have to be an opt-in and trade because the Lakers would be over the salary cap if they did a sign-and-trade. Once Irving exercises his opt-in, he loses all bargaining power because the Nets are under no obligation to move him because his current deal runs through next season.
The Lakers’ trade offer isn’t particularly enticing, what with their two first-round picks and the questionable value of Talen Horton-Tucker. The Lakers would have to deal with Russell Westbrook to clear space under the salary ceiling, but the Nets aren’t interested in reuniting Durant and his former teammate. Bringing in a third team is necessary for this to work, but doing so introduces complications.
Before July 1st, the Thunder may make a deal, but in exchange for draft picks and young players, the Lakers wouldn’t be able to satisfy either the Nets or the Thunder. The Pistons will have salary cap room after July 1, but they intend to use it to sign players who will improve the team (Miles Bridges?). If Irving leaves (and Kevin Durant could follow), the Nets don’t want to be locked into that long-term money, so they may try to make a three-team trade with Charlotte in which they send Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier to Brooklyn.
There is no reasonable Irving trade including the Lakers. Irving may have to accept a pay cut of $30 million to play for the Lakers, as the taxpayer mid-level exception is only $6,4 million (and that has all kinds of implications/essences on his future salary with the Lakers).
The strange maneuvers the Knicks made on draft night were all about making room in the salary cap so they could pursue Jalen Brunson. According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, the Knicks are not paying much attention to Irving because they view his actions as a public negotiation ploy rather than genuine desire.
The Knicks can increase their chances of signing Irving by trading away salary (Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Evan Fourier could all be moved with first-round picks attached) and freeing up enough cap space to sign Irving without a trade. To make matters worse, the Knicks’ roster is already not particularly deep, so any sign-and-trade would significantly thin out the team’s depth (the Nets will want RJ Barrett to start).
It appears that the Miami Heat are the most likely destination for Kyrie Irving because of their roster and the friendship between Irving and Jimmy Butler. It’s possible that the Nets would prefer an offer that includes Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, and a couple of draft picks. The Nets would benefit the most from this trade, and it would be intriguing to see how Irving fits into the Heat’s more militaristic mentality. On the other hand, Wojnarowski claims that communication has broken down between the two camps.
Alternately, Irving and the Nets may maturely negotiate a contract deal that neither side is completely happy with but can live with, and then get to work on a title run. Unfortunately for you Nets supporters, that line of thinking will not prevail.
Irving, on the other hand, is actively shopping around for a deal.