Atlantic Notes: Irving, Nets, Tatum, Durant, Knicks

In a recent group chat, Kyrie Irving urged his Nets teammates to skip the restarted season this summer, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, who says the star guard also put forth the idea of players starting their own league.

Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears from sources that Irving never said the Nets should start their own league in response to the bubble plan. However, the wording of that denial leaves some room for interpretation — it doesn’t mean Irving never floated the concept, or that it wasn’t part of a separate conversation from the one about participating in the bubble.

Either way, it’s an eyebrow-raising idea. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the world’s best players could launch and run a successful league, but it would be a long, challenging process to get enough players on board and to attempt to build the sort of infrastructure the NBA already has in place. For now, it’s not really a realistic possibility.

For what it’s worth, Rooks adds that Irving left the group chat following the publication of Bondy’s report.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic division:

  • Within that same Daily News article, Bondy cites a source who says Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has expressed some reluctance about playing this summer, since he’s eligible for a maximum-salary extension this offseason and feels as if there will be an elevated risk of injury when play resumes. While Bondy’s report may be accurate, I’d be shocked if Tatum didn’t ultimately suit up — even a major injury likely wouldn’t prevent the C’s from offering him a lucrative long-term deal.
  • Even at full strength, the Nets wouldn’t be a real threat to win the title this season, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who lauds Kevin Durant‘s willingness to remain patient with his Achilles recovery rather than pushing to return to action in Orlando.
  • As first reported by Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Knicks are hiring Pelicans scout Alex Kline to a front office role. Kline will take on a larger role in New York, working under new assistant GM Walt Perrin, league sources tell Vorkunov.
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28 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Irving, Nets, Tatum, Durant, Knicks

  1. Steven St Croix

    Kyrie thinks the earth is flat, maybe his peers should be listening to someone else.

    • dynasty in boston

      Couldn’t agree more. KI is an egomaniacal joke. I hope he does sit out Orlando.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        His shoulder injury is expected to keep him out until September, so even if Kyrie wanted to play it’s extremely unlikely he could.

        • doug.daniel243

          Is it just me or is literally the most annoying team on the planet becoming the Nets because they have KD and Kyrie?

  2. Sillivan

    My Knicks free agent signing proposal
    Overpaying players is the only option to succeed in free agency

    Wood 2 years deal at 53 million with team option
    Morris 2 year deal at 48 million with team option
    Gallo 3 years deal at 75 million with team option
    VanVleet 3 years 66 million with team option
    Harrell 3 years deal at 75 million with team option

    • Sillivan

      I hope Knicks can take 2 of free agents then trade them at trade deadline for future picks

      • Sillivan, as usual it’s a terrible post.

        At those dollars even if the Knicks wanted sign and then trade them at the deadline, teams would have to give up a valuable player of some sort to match the dollars.

        Target should be Freddie only to

        A) keep cap flexibility for next year
        B) be able to draft best position

        If they don’t get Fred (which I imagine they won’t), guys like Torrey Craig and Kris Dunn make more sense.

  3. jessaumodesto

    You couldn’t pay me enough money to play for the Nets with those two clowns

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Injuries I can understand is a real concern. But this is your profession. The pandemic has hit the world. You should be responsible to keep in shape. You know your body better than anyone. If players don’t want to risk it. Silver has already said they could. So don’t show up, stay away. And you can root for them on TV. Kyrie should be more concerned about. Covid19 not ruining next season too.


    Kyrie is lobbying against a league that made him a multi millionaire.. any issues he’s had have been self brought.. I’m sure the nets are happy they signed the guy.. the nba should look at ways to expel kyrie from the league.. Hes a vote with the player assoc but is actively telling players they should start there own league? Conduct detrimental to the league.. people have been kicked out for less

  6. George

    What would be interesting is if The Nets could find enough cash to buy The Nets.

  7. mrshyguy99

    start a league. yea like these players would really want to leave the money they make to not even make a 3rd of what they make in a new league. does lrving even know how hard it is to start a league? if you dont got the money, fand and tv spots you are doom from the start. how many people will see a league if it a bunch of bench players? unless some stars jump i dont see the league doing weel for at least 5 years if they even make it that far

  8. x%sure

    But would Tatum not even suiting up affect a max offer. I would be surprised if he does. He has a decent excuse not to (an injury before he can sign) and he is unevenly applied. He probably will not get pressured to show.

  9. mlbnyyfan

    There is no way Knicks should sign VanVleet. I hoping the can draft a PG and trade picks and players for Beal or Booker for SG. Move RJ to SF, sign Wood for PF and still have Robinson at the 5. Ideally the keep Trier and Dotson off the bench and possibly Knox. Trade both first round picks from the Mavs. First round pick from the Clippers. Trade Randle, Ntilikina, Portis etc. I think 3 first round picks 3-4 players gets Beal or Booker. Starting 5 PG(Hailburton) Beal or Booker, RJ, Wood and Robinson.

    • Sillivan

      Beal and Booker might not be available
      my projection
      Ball,RJ . VanVleet
      Wood Mitch Harrell

      Dump Randle for nothing first

  10. Reflect

    Easy to posture yourself as being against the season when you can’t play basketball anyway because of injuries.

    • dynasty in boston

      KI will always be injured before a long road schedule. He’ll be booed without mercy every time he steps onto a court away from Brooklyn for a good, long while

  11. Lionel Muggeridge

    The Nets are in a self imposed terrible situation. Kyrie is injury prone, a diva and isn’t much of a leader of a team. And Durant is coming off the worst injury in basketball. He’s over 30 and will probably not be the same ever again.

  12. El Don

    That is easy if JT is such a pansy that is worried about an injury, which is a normal & acceptable part of his job, he shouldn’t just turn up in Orlando. Stay home safe & wrap up in cotton wools.
    But clearly he is showing to all of us that he is much much much more interested in his $$$ than he is in winning.
    That rings very big alarm bells to me if I am BOS, would I really pay this guy big money? If he doesn’t even play this summer so he doesn’t get injured, would I actually paying him the max?
    The answer must be always no, I want a guy who wants to win & play, not cash in checks & watching games from the tv!

    • dynasty in boston

      Go back to El Sleepmode. He’s stupid to risk a career for a three-month season.

      • You have gone from “shut up and play” to believing players should stay home if they feel the risk is too great?

        Does the attitude pivot on whether you are talking about players you respect or don’t?

      • El Don

        Oh well, if JT is stupid for playing for his team & in the playoffs, then he shouldn’t, don’t let him break, SMH!!!

    • wagner13

      If you want a team solely comprised of players with no concern for their financial being, you’re out of luck

  13. wagner13

    Isn’t it nice that all the commenters on this site can at least agree on one thing: Kyrie is a delusional and bipolar buffoon

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