The 2021-22 NBA season was, uh, quite the doozy for the Brooklyn Nets, one that culminated in a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
Kyrie Irving refused to get vaccinated and hardly played, a storyline that dominated news surrounding the team. James Harden requested a trade midway through the year and received it in early February. Kevin Durant missed significant time with an injury. And the star that Harden yielded, Ben Simmons, did not suit up once, due to a litany of ailments.
Needless to say, it was a season any organization would prefer to forget and aim to avoid in the future. In the Nets’ case, the chaos was so taxing that they’d rather not endure another season like it than retain Irving and Durant, if such an ultimatum confronted them, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“They are are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant,” Windhorst said. “They would rather lose them both than go through what they went through last season, which was a miserable season under the situation that Kyrie Irving contributed to creating.”
— ESPN (@espn) June 27, 2022
Irving has a $36 million player option for 2022-23 and the deadline to opt in or decline it is Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET — with the Nets apparently giving him permission to find sign-and-trade opportunities with other teams. Meanwhile, Durant inked a four-year extension with Brooklyn last August, which kicks in next season and runs through 2025-26.
With Irving’s decision imminent and reports indicating it could have significant bearing on Durant’s future, this development only stands to swell in interest over the coming days, weeks and months.