Fischer’s Latest: Kyrie, Collins, Barnes, Knicks, Magic

Monday’s report stating that Kyrie Irving is at an impasse in contract discussions with the Nets and could consider other destinations is widely viewed as an attempt by Irving’s camp to create leverage in those negotiations, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated during an appearance on Get Up on Tuesday (video link).

Still, even if that’s the case, the Nets and Irving have some work to do to bridge the gap in their contract talks, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the team prefers a shorter-term deal that includes incentives, while Irving naturally wants a longer-term commitment.

Despite the report of an “impasse,” talks between Irving and the Nets are expected to remain fluid as his option decision deadline and the start of free agency near, says Fischer. There still appears to be mutual interest in figuring something out, and Brooklyn team officials have been operating as if Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons will all be back in 2022/23, Fischer adds.

According to Fischer, word has circulated among league personnel since May’s draft combine that Irving has interest in the Lakers and Knicks, but most team executives haven’t given much credence to that chatter, given how challenging it would be for either team to acquire him.

Here’s more from Fischer’s newest round-up of NBA rumors:

  • Fischer is the latest reporter to reiterate that John Collins is viewed as one of the NBA’s most likely offseason trade candidates, writing that Collins and the Hawks seem to have mutual interest in finding him a new home. Fischer also confirms a previous report which stated that the Collins talks between the Hawks and Kings haven’t included the No. 4 overall pick, though he notes that Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes is believed to be available.
  • The Knicks are considered likely to trade Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel, according to Fischer, who says the team is exploring ways to create $25MM in cap room, possibly to pursue free agent point guard Jalen Brunson. However, Fischer cautions that league personnel still widely expect Brunson to re-sign with the Mavericks.
  • Teams looking to shed a contract or two will likely be in touch with the Magic. Fischer hears from sources that Orlando – one of the only teams projected to have cap room – has emerged as a possible landing spot for unwanted salary. Any team looking to dump a contract on the Magic would have to be willing to give up an asset or two to make it happen.
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