Kevin Durant

Kyrie Irving Opting In To Final Year Of Contract

Kyrie Irving has decided to opt in to his contract for 2022/23, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. By exercising the $36.9MM option, Irving is bypassing multiple opt-in-and-trade scenarios in order to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant, according to Charania (Twitter links).

Irving is entering the final year of his four-year, $136.5MM deal.

“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving said in a statement. “I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”

By exercising his option, Irving is now both extension- and trade-eligible, though it doesn’t sounds as if either is happening in coordination with the opt-in. The seven-time All-Star will remain extension-eligible up until next June 30 and could tack on up to four years to his expiring deal.

If Irving signs an extension exceeding two years, he would become ineligible to be traded for the next six months; if he’s traded, he would be ineligible to sign an extension longer than two years for the next six months.

Irving’s contract option technically has a base value of about $36.5MM, but the cap hit is $36.9MM due to likely incentives, and it can go as high as $37.7MM if he reaches all his incentives.

The opt-in closes the door on the possibility of Irving of taking a massive pay cut and signing with a new team, such as the Lakers, for the mid-level exception. However, it’s unlikely the drama surrounding Kyrie will end any time soon — since he’s now on track for unrestricted free agency in 2023, he could reemerge as a trade candidate within the next year if he and the Nets don’t agree to an extension.

The Nets, who were reportedly unwilling to offer Irving a long-term contract, have been playing hardball in negotiations with the 30-year-old and essentially threw it in his lap to find a viable sign-and-trade scenario. He was unable to do so, which has led him to exercising the option, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Irving had until 5:00 pm ET on Wednesday to officially make a decision on that option.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Lakers were the only team willing to engage in serious sign-and-trade talks with Brooklyn and they lacked attractive pieces to ship back to the Nets in a potential deal.

With Irving’s future up in the air during the last week, multiple reports indicated that Durant was also mulling his options. But with Irving seemingly on track to return to the Nets for next season, Durant presumably won’t be looking for an exit ramp out of Brooklyn.

Windhorst: Nets, Kyrie Irving Engaged In “Grade-A Staredown”

With less than 48 hours remaining for Kyrie Irving to make a decision on his $36.9MM player option for 2022/23, he and the Nets are engaged in a “Grade-A staredown,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during an appearance today on NBA Today (video links).

Since Irving and the Nets reached an impasse in their contract extension talks, there have been rumors suggesting that Kyrie is willing to walk away from the Nets and to potentially take a $30MM+ pay cut for the 2022/23 season by signing with the Lakers using their $6.4MM taxpayer mid-level exception.

However, the Nets haven’t backed down in their negotiations with the seven-time All-Star and are playing hardball themselves, even with Kevin Durant‘s future in Brooklyn potentially tied to Irving’s, according to Windhorst.

“The message that is being sent around the league – and before I say this, this could just be a negotiating position – but the message the Brooklyn Nets are sending is that they are willing to risk losing Kevin Durant if it means (not) going through what they went through last year with Kyrie Irving,” Windhorst said. “They just cannot have him back under the same terms that they had last year. I think they would be willing to welcome him back under different terms, both contractual and an understanding with the organization. But if it costs them both players to avoid a repeat of last year, they are sending the message that they are willing to do that.”

Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, despite New York City’s vaccine mandate, was a major factor in him suiting up for just 29 of 82 possible regular season games in 2021/22. That mandate wasn’t lifted until late in the regular season and Irving’s inconsistent availability contributed not just to the Nets’ inconsistent play but to James Harden‘s decision to request a trade.

As Windhorst explains, the Nets’ stance in their negotiations with Irving – which has been driven not just by management by but owner Joe Tsai – has sent “ripple effects” across the NBA, as teams around the league consider where Kyrie could end up and what it might take to trade for Durant.

“I have talked to several star players’ agents in the last 24 hours whose teams have come to the star player and said, ‘How do you feel about playing with Kyrie Irving? How do you feel about playing with Kevin Durant?'” Windhorst said. “Teams are preparing for this contingency.”

The Nets are likely willing to take an aggressive stance in their talks with Irving at least in part because most of the teams he would be interested in joining either don’t appear eager to pursue him or would be hard-pressed to find a way to acquire him. The Lakers, Sixers, Heat, Mavericks, Clippers, and Knicks are reportedly on Irving’s wish list, but many of those clubs don’t reciprocate his interest, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported earlier today that only the Lakers have legitimate sign-and-trade interest in Irving, and their trade chips don’t appeal to Brooklyn, which is why accepting the $6.4MM taxpayer MLE might be Kyrie’s only viable path to Los Angeles.

If Irving picks up his player option for 2022/23, it would make him easier to trade, but the Nets would also be under no obligation to make a move at that point — the two sides would have all season to potentially negotiate an extension.

“It seems to me that the Nets want Kyrie to opt in because that relieves the pressure a little bit and it buys more time,” Windhorst said. “He can negotiate for a period of time. He doesn’t have to decide on the extension this week. They can try to figure things out — it removes the immediate pressure, and I think that’s probably the best. Because at the end of the day, the Nets don’t want to lose Kevin Durant. The Nets could have a very good team for next year. … They don’t want to blow this up, but they are willing to bring it to the precipice to blow it up to try to get what they want.”

Kyrie Irving Granted Permission To Explore Trade Scenarios

12:17pm: According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), sources with knowledge of the situation increasingly believe that Irving is willing to decline his player option and sign with the Lakers for the $6.4MM taxpayer mid-level exception.

In that scenario, Fischer writes, Irving could get a raise and a longer-term deal from the Lakers in 2023. The team still doesn’t project to have enough room to offer him a max contract at that point, but could theoretically get close.

Meanwhile, in his full story on the Irving situation, Wojnarowski writes that Durant “remained an advocate” for the Nets to give Kyrie a long-term deal.

11:42am: The Nets and Kyrie Irving haven’t made any real progress toward reaching an agreement that will keep him in Brooklyn going forward, writes Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News.

In fact, according to Winfield, Irving’s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak to other teams about potential trade scenarios. Alex Schiffer of The Athletic and Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter links) have heard the same thing.

Although those reports suggest Irving’s camp is looking into possible “sign-and-trade packages,” many of the teams said to be on the point guard’s wish list wouldn’t have the ability to acquire him via sign-and-trade due to their proximity to the projected luxury tax line.

Sign-and-trade talks also technically aren’t allowed until free agency begins this Thursday evening, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter). While teams and agents often play fast and loose with those rules, they may be a little more hesitant to do so this year after two teams were penalized last year for “gun-jumping” violations related to sign-and-trade agreements.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Sign-And-Trades]

Opt-in-and-trade scenarios – in which Irving picks up his $36.9MM player option for 2022/23 – would be more viable for many potential trade partners. Kyrie has until Wednesday to make a final decision on his option, and there’s a sense in both league and player circles that he may have played his last game in Brooklyn, says Winfield.

According to Wojnarowski, however, no teams besides the Lakers are seriously considering the idea of pursuing Irving, and Brooklyn isn’t believed to have interest in any trade package L.A. could realistically offer.

Wojnarowski’s report is similar to what he said during a TV appearance on Friday (hat tip to NetsDaily). At that time, Woj described the talks between the Nets and Irving as “acrimonious,” but suggested that no teams besides the Lakers were thought to have serious interest in the point guard. The other clubs reported to be on Irving’s wish list are the Mavericks, Heat, Clippers, Knicks, and Sixers.

“The interest isn’t mutual in several of these places,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN.

Here are more updates on the Irving situation:

  • According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there are sources close to the situation who “strongly believe” Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers. Amick, who gets the sense that LeBron James is “very open” to the idea, notes that most people around the NBA believe the Nets would have zero interest in taking on Russell Westbrook in any trade with the Lakers.
  • Amick has heard that the Knicks have no interest in Irving and expect him to end up remaining in Brooklyn. Amick describes the Clippers as in “wait-and-see” mode when it comes to Kyrie.
  • Even with the threat of Irving’s departure seemingly increasing and Kevin Durant‘s future uncertain, the Nets appear unlikely to relent and offer Kyrie a long-term maximum-salary contract, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said during a Monday appearance on Get Up (video link). “Everything I’ve heard, the max deal is not coming. The Nets are not going to be held hostage by the threat of Kyrie Irving (leaving) and then Kevin Durant following him out the door,” Lowe said. “They appear ready to actually take some kind of stand here. That doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a fair compromise offer somewhere, wherever that lands.”
  • While Lowe did suggest that a compromise between Irving and the Nets is possible, he believes Kyrie’s flight risk is real: “I do think this is a precarious situation for the Nets. I don’t think this is the kind of thing where it’s actually kind of calm and the media is blowing this out of proportion. I do think there are scenarios where in a week he’s gone and the Durant situation is wobbly.”

Heat Notes: Durant, Oladipo, Free Agency, Tampering

With Nets superstar Kevin Durant said to be losing confidence in the team’s management, the Heat could be a team to watch if he requests a trade, says Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. As we relayed, Durant reportedly hasn’t spoken to anyone from the Nets in weeks.

Brooklyn is currently dealing with Kyrie Irving‘s uncertain situation, as Irving holds a $36.5MM player option for next season. His departure could prompt Durant to further consider his future. Miami can offer young pieces such as Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, as well as multiple first-round picks in talks.

Should the team be forced to offload Adebayo, it would naturally have a gaping hole at center. Durant is known to be friends with P.J. Tucker, an impending free agent for Miami. He also played with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry on Team USA in 2016.

Here are some other notes from Miami:

  • In his latest mailbag for the Miami Herald, Anthony Chiang examines how far the Heat may go to retain Victor Oladipo in free agency. The 30-year-old is coming off a postseason where he averaged 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 24.5 minutes per game, shooting 37%. He only appeared in eight regular-season games before the playoffs — one of which was a 40-point outing against the Magic.
  • Ira Winderman discusses several topics in a story for the Sun Sentinel, including how free agency tends to be trade season for the Heat. Miami acquired Butler in a sign-and-trade during the summer of 2019, then did the same with Lowry last summer.
  • In a separate article for the Sun Sentinel, Winderman explores whether the Heat’s free-agency timing could be thrown off by last year’s tampering investigation. The NBA found Miami to be guilty of “gun-jumping” when news of Lowry’s anticipated deal broke before free agency technically opened, taking away this year’s second-round pick as a result.

Kevin Durant Reportedly Losing Confidence In Nets’ Management

Kevin Durant hasn’t talked to anyone from the Nets in weeks and is losing confidence in the team’s ability to handle the contract standoff with Kyrie Irving, Logan Murdock of The Ringer said on a recent podcast (hat tip to NetsDaily).

There has been growing speculation over the past week that Durant may force his way out if Brooklyn can’t re-sign Irving. Murdock said that decision isn’t inevitable, but warned that concerns about the potential “destruction” of the current roster are legitimate.

“I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well,” Murdock said.

Brooklyn was lauded as the NBA’s next super team when Durant, Irving and DeAndre Jordan decided to sign there as free agents in 2019. James Harden was added in a January 2021 deal to form a Big Three, but things haven’t gone as planned. The Nets have captured just one playoff series in that span, Harden is already gone and the other two stars appear to be in danger of leaving as well.

Murdock explained that when Durant chose Brooklyn, he had a vision of competing for titles while playing alongside his friends. Because that hasn’t happened, Durant is beginning to consider his options, especially if Irving doesn’t return.

“His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means,” Murdock said. “I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’”

Durant is also unhappy about the Nets’ reported parting with Adam Harrington as an assistant coach and director of development. Harrington was Durant’s shooting coach with the Thunder and is a longtime friend.

Murdock adds that Durant chose not to be involved in the Nets’ free agent recruiting process this year after having been active on that front in past offseasons.

Trail Blazers Notes: Sharpe, Lillard, Durant, Free Agency

Shaedon Sharpe required more in-depth scouting than the other top prospects in Thursday’s draft, but the Trail Blazers are comfortable that they made the right decision, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Because Sharpe never played after enrolling at Kentucky, general manager Joe Cronin sought game film of him in international competitions and anything else he could find. Cronin was sold on Sharpe after bringing him to Portland for a 3-on-3 workout.

“Shaedon is an incredible talent,” Cronin said. “We’re really excited about his future. It was a unique situation with Shaedon where he didn’t play college basketball. So he wasn’t seen or evaluated nearly as much as a lot of these other guys. But we were lucky enough to have we had a pretty good foundation built on Shaedon through our past viewings, specifically some of the new people we hired who had seen him a little bit.”

Cronin was referring to new assistant GM Mike Schmitz, who was very familiar with Sharpe from his former role as an ESPN draft analyst. Sharpe fills a need for the Blazers, who were in the market for an athletic wing that can score, and the 19-year-old offered Portland fans a preview of what they can expect.

“I’m a dude that likes to attack the rim, draw some fouls, finish above the rim, also get my teammates involved and really just shooting the 3,” he said. “Just impacting the game.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • The Blazers were torn between Sharpe and G League guard Dyson Daniels with the No. 7 pick, and Damian Lillard appears to have influenced the final decision, writes Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. Lillard was impressed by Sharpe during his two visits to Portland, and the front office made numerous calls to Kentucky staffers to check on his background.
  • Lillard caused a stir on social media today when he posted a photoshopped image on Instagram of himself and Kevin Durant both wearing Trail Blazers uniforms. Rumors that Durant may be on the move have been flying since reports of a contract impasse between the Nets and Kyrie Irving.
  • While the Blazers appear to be improved following the draft and this week’s trade for Jerami Grant, Cronin understands that more needs to be done to become a contender again, per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland figures to have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, along with a bi-annual exception worth about $4MM, two small trade exceptions and tradeable salaries in Eric Bledsoe, Josh Hart and Justise Winslow. “What’s next is keep on the path,” Cronin said. “We’re trying to be really aggressive. We know we’re not good enough. We want to keep trying to get better. So, it’s continuing to address these needs. The draft is a big trade day, but it’s not the end-all as far as trades go.”

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Harden, Anunoby, Koloko, Celtics

As rumors swirl that Kyrie Irving is entertaining an exit out of Brooklyn that could impact Kevin Durant‘s future with the Nets, Durant himself said on the ETCs podcast that he doesn’t plan to get involved in Irving’s free agency decision.

“This is this man’s livelihood. This is much bigger than me,” Durant said, according to NetsDaily. “Being a free agent, it’s one of the most important times in your career. That can’t be swayed by anybody else. I just do me and wait for the time.

“There’s nothing that can happen right now. I don’t think he can even make a decision on opting out until the 29th, I think. I just let things play out and see what happens, but keep the regular contact up with Kai and see what happens. It’s something that’s so much out of my control that I don’t want to be a part of it. We’ll see what happens though.”

Asked about this week’s reports about him and Irving, Durant downplayed them without dismissing them entirely.

“It’s just reports. You know, that go around this time, the draft, the Finals just ended. You just got to keep that dialogue going, keep that engagement going. So, obviously, it’s an interesting topic,” Durant said. “There’s a lot going on with our team. Uncertainty with Ben (Simmons) not playing with us, us being swept in the playoffs, Kyrie’s situation being a free agent. So there’s a lot of certainty with our team. I understand why there’s so much noise around us, but as individuals, you control what you can. If the time’s right, everything will work out for itself.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Asked about James Harden‘s contract situation on Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey didn’t offer up any specifics, but expressed optimism about the relationship going forward, writes Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “As you guys have heard, it’s a mutual lovefest, so we feel like we’ll work it out,” Morey said.
  • The Trail Blazers engaged in a “full-court press” this week in an effort to acquire OG Anunoby from the Raptors, but Toronto was unmoved, reports Michael Grange of While that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Anunoby being traded later in the offseason, head coach Nick Nurse said on Thursday that “guys like him are hard to find in this league.”
  • Within the same story, Grange writes that the Raptors‘ No. 33 pick – Christian Koloko – brings the sort of height and rim-protecting ability that the team had been lacking. “It’s something we don’t have,” general manager Bobby Webster said of Koloko’s skill set.
  • The Celtics have done their homework on the players that fit into their $17MM+ trade exception and have considered various scenarios, but haven’t found one they like yet, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said during his post-draft media session on Thursday. “If that thing vanishes because we don’t find the right deal, we still have two other (trade exceptions) that don’t expire until the trade deadline,” Stevens said, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). As our tracker shows, Boston’s $17MM exception will expire on July 18, at which point the team will still have TPEs worth about $7MM and $6MM.

Nets’ Outlook With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant Remains “Murky”

After reporting on Thursday afternoon that Kevin Durant was weighing his future in Brooklyn, potentially opening the door for Kyrie Irving to leave the Nets this offseason, Shams Charania of The Athletic further addressed the situation during Thursday night’s draft.

“Kevin Durant, I’m told, is seriously mulling his future options with the franchise and there’s an expectation that that now opens up an opportunity for Kyrie Irving to now proceed to find a new home,” Charania said (video link via Stadium). “… Whether that’s an opt-in and trade, a sign-and-trade, an opt-out and sign as a free agent, Kyrie Irving, it appears, is going to find a new home. Kevin Durant has four years left on his contract with the Nets. His future right now is very much up in the air.”

Although Charania’s wording makes it sound as if Irving is more likely to depart Brooklyn than to return, Brian Lewis of The New York Post says Kyrie and the Nets are still believed to be seeking an agreement that will keep him with the team. According to Lewis, some people around the NBA believe the recent leaks are part of an “artfully crafted and well-coordinated bluff” from Irving’s camp.

Irving’s decision on his $36.9MM player option isn’t due until next Wednesday, so the two sides still have several days to try to find common ground. Kyrie is said to be looking for a long-term contract, while the Nets prefer a shorter-term deal. Team owner Joe Tsai has “fully supported” management’s stance against making a long-term commitment to Irving, according to Ian Begley of (Twitter link).

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reported on Thursday that Irving has a list of at least six preferred destinations if he leaves the Nets, reiterated on ESPN’s Get Up on Friday (video link) that the Lakers appear to have the “most interest” in the seven-time All-Star.

However, given the Lakers’ lack of trade assets, Irving’s only real path to the team might be to opt out and sign for the $6.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception. Given that he and the Nets reached an impasse over how long his deal would be, it seems unlikely that he’d settle for a one-year deal and a $30MM pay cut.

According to Wojnarowski, a few of the other teams on Irving’s reported wish list – including the Mavericks, Clippers, and Sixers – are unlikely to have legitimate interest. The Knicks created some additional cap flexibility with their moves in Thursday’s draft, but are prioritizing free agent point guard Jalen Brunson over Irving, says Wojnarowski.

Still, despite an apparent lack of logical landing spots for Kyrie, Wojnarowski (video link) describes the Nets’ situation as “perilous” due to the ripple effect it could have on Irving’s good friend Durant. According to Woj, Durant isn’t a lock to request a trade if Irving leaves, but he’d want the Nets to show him that they could still build a championship-caliber roster around him.

“KD wanting to remain with the Nets is not necessarily contingent on if Kyrie Irving walks,” Wojnarowski said during a TV appearance, according to Lewis. “That, if he walks, he wants to see what the roster could still look like, how it could be reshaped, how it can still be a championship contender. (Durant is) starting that new four-year max deal. This isn’t the transfer portal. You don’t get to say where you’d like to go. So if he decided and wanted and asked for a trade — which I’m told he’s not told the Nets he’s going to do or is ready to do — he’s probably not going to have a lot of say in where he goes.

“So that has to be part of (Durant’s) thinking if he does ask out of Brooklyn,” Woj continued. “But right now, I still think there’s a pathway for the Nets, for Kyrie Irving, for Kevin Durant to find a way forward together. But it’s murky, and it’s uncertain. The future of this Nets organization very well is going to be determined here in the next several days to a week.”

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Considering Options For Future

Nets star Kevin Durant is monitoring Brooklyn’s situation and “considering options with his future,” sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). While Charania’s report is vague, it suggests Durant may not be completely satisfied with his current situation despite being under contract for the next four years.

The Nets’ negotiations with Kyrie Irving figure to be a crucial factor in Durant’s deliberations, as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN detailed earlier this week. Irving and the Nets were said on Monday to be at an impasse in their contract talks, and Kyrie and KD are close, so their futures may be connected — if one leaves Brooklyn, the other would likely be more inclined to follow suit.

According to Charania, Durant’s deliberations open a path for Irving to look more seriously at finding a new home via opt-in and trade.

Meanwhile, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) that Irving has a list of teams he would like Brooklyn to consider in sign-and-trade scenarios if he and the Nets don’t reach a new agreement, including the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavericks, and Sixers. Those are teams Irving is interested in, though not all of them would necessarily reciprocate that interest and make him a top priority, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

Irving has a $36.9MM player option that he must make a decision on by next Wednesday. Picking up that option would mean he either returns to Brooklyn or relies on the Nets to trade him. Declining it would make him an unrestricted free agent, in which case he could either re-sign with the Nets or join a new team, possibly via sign-and-trade.

Teams that will be over the tax apron (projected to be approximately $155MM) for the 2022/23 season would be ineligible to acquire a player via sign-and-trade. Of the teams on Irving’s wish list, the Lakers, Clippers, and Mavericks are all on track to be well above the apron, while the Heat and Sixers also aren’t locks to stay below it. That would complicate sign-and-trade scenarios, so Irving’s best route to changing teams without taking a massive pay cut would be with an opt-in-and-trade.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), Irving’s current contract includes a 15% trade bonus, so if he were to exercise his player option and be traded without waiving that bonus, his salary for 2022/23 would increase to over $42MM, with the Nets responsible for paying the extra $5.5MM.

Irving is seeking a lucrative long-term contract this offseason, while the Nets have reportedly been pushing for a shorter-term deal. If the two sides can find common ground, Irving and Durant both seem like good bets to remain in Brooklyn, but the fact that both stars are now said to be considering their options isn’t great news for a Nets team that already had to trade away one superstar earlier this year when James Harden asked out.

Latest On Kyrie Irving, Nets

The Nets are faced with a balancing act as they attempt to re-sign or extend Kyrie Irving, Adrian Wojnarowski said today during a TV appearance on SportsCenter, as well as in an Insider-only story for

As Wojnarowski explains, the Nets want to remain disciplined in their contract discussions with Irving, preferring to negotiate a shorter-term deal rather than a long-term contract, in large part due to the star guard’s availability issues in recent years. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported something similar earlier in the week.

However, the team also doesn’t want to run the risk of “alienating” star forward Kevin Durant, who is close with Irving and may become disenchanted with his situation in Brooklyn if his good friend departs in free agency. Wojnarowski says there are teams rooting for Irving to leave the Nets because they feel it could open the door for them to pursue Durant.

Although Durant hasn’t shown any signs of frustration with his situation, Wojnarowski hears from sources that chatter from rival agents and players about KD’s eagerness to talk to free agents hasn’t existed so far this summer like it has in past offseasons. Sources also suggest to ESPN that the drama surrounding Irving has made it more difficult for the Nets to court and retain role players.

Brian Lewis of The New York Post confirms that the length of a new Irving deal appears to be more of a sticking point than the salary, writing that the two sides are trying to find a “happy medium.”

According to Wojnarowski, getting a deal done is “the preference for everyone,” including the Nets, Irving, and Durant, and Lewis says that most people around the league still believe a return to Brooklyn is the most likely outcome for Kyrie. It’s just a matter of the Nets and the seven-time All-Star finding common ground in their contract talks.