Kyrie Irving appears like he’ll consider both New York teams this offseason.
The Nets and the 27-year-old star “hold mutual interest,” according to a report from the New York Post, which cites unidentified league sources. Irving, who is expected to opt out of his contract with the Celtics and become a free agent this summer, has also continually been linked to the Knicks.
Brooklyn was, at one point, the betting favorites to sign Irving. He was a Nets fan while growing up in New Jersey, the report says.
The Nets have the best odds to land Kyrie 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 7, 2019
Irving, 27, averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists for Boston this season. The Celtics finished 2018-19 with a 49-33 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they fell to the Bucks in five games.
The Nets, meanwhile, exceeded expectations 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.
Brooklyn reportedly believes Irving and D’Angelo Russell can play in the same backcourt. Russell made his first All-Star team with the Nets last season and is set to be a restricted free agent.
“If we’re being completely honest, I enjoyed the team that we had this whole season,” Russell told The Post about free agency. “If the situation was to come up to have pieces of his caliber around, it’ll make us a better team obviously. But I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy our team, and the pieces we had around.”
Irving, 27, has also become “more open” to joining the Lakers, according to an earlier report from ESPN. Irving and Lakers star LeBron James won a championship together while they were teammates with the Cavaliers from 2014-17.
Irving reportedly wanted a bigger role and asked Cleveland to trade him before he was eventually sent to the Celtics. Irving, however, said he apologized to James during a phone call in late January.