The Nets have been considered the front-runners to end up with Kyrie Irving this summer. But, there may be a condition to the team signing the star guard.
Brooklyn’s “dream offseason” is to add both Irving and Kevin Durant — who is expected to miss all of next season after rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The team, however, “might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving” if it doesn’t land Durant, too, according to a report from the New York Post, which cites unidentified league sources.
Durant is reportedly considering joining the Knicks or heading back to the Warriors while the Clippers are interested in him, as well. Outside of the Nets, Irving has been linked to the Knicks and Lakers. He could also choose to re-sign with the Celtics, although that possibility is reportedly low.
The Nets cleared an additional $18 million in cap space earlier this month when they acquired Taurean Prince from the Hawks in exchange for the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, a protected first-round selection in 2020 and Allen Crabbe, according to ESPN.
If the Nets choose to stop pursuing Irving, they would turn their attention back to D’Angelo Russell, according to the Post. The 23-year-old guard will be a restricted free agent after making his first All-Star team with Brooklyn in 2018-19.
The Nets exceeded expectations last season and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15. They were topped by the 76ers in five games in their first-round series.
“If we’re being completely honest, I enjoyed the team that we had this whole season,” Russell told The Post about free agency earlier this month. “I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy our team, and the pieces we had around.”
The Nets reportedly have interest in Tobias Harris and are one of the teams expected to inquire about Al Horford, according to NBC Sports Boston.