NBA Rumor: Kyrie Irving Free Agency

301 rumors in this storyline

2 years ago via ESPN
The Brooklyn Nets included about $1 million in yearly performance-based incentives into maximum contracts for both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a tweak that allowed them to maneuver to fit contracts for DeAndre Jordan and second-round pick Nicolas Claxton into cap space, according to contract data obtained by ESPN. Both deals have player options in their fourth seasons, meaning Durant and Irving can hit free agency again in the summer of 2022.

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2 years ago via ESPN

Irving’s contract is especially interesting: eight separate incentives — $125,000 each, all deemed “unlikely” — and thus not included in Irving’s current cap hit. Irving’s initial salary for 2019-20 is $31,720,000 — exactly $1 million short of his maximum. Hitting all eight bonuses would make up the difference.

Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t surprised Irving, Durant and even DeAndre Jordan chose the Nets. Jordan was Smith’s teammate in Dallas and New York last season. “I wasn’t surprised, to be honest with you. People in the league talk anyway. They just keep it private. People in the league talk,” Smith said. “They’re great players but I like what we have, to be honest with you. I know there are a lot of hecklers out there and talking this that and the third. But I like what we have and I’m not really concerned with what’s going on in Brooklyn.”

Marks has them perfectly positioned as a top-tier free agent destination with nearly $69 million in salary cap room and a talented young core group remaining from a 42-40 playoff team. Multiple NBA sources have indicated to Newsday that point guard Kyrie Irving is a virtual certainty to sign with the Nets, and it could happen quickly because Irving reportedly has been courting forward Kevin Durant and can signal his commitment by agreeing to a maximum-salary deal worth $141 million over four years.
2 years ago via ESPN

Durant and Leonard are planning to talk with each of those teams once free agency opens Sunday at 6 PM ET, league sources said. Leonard and Durant are each planning discussions and meetings with several teams, but only Clippers and Knicks are in alignment with salary cap space and common interest to sign both players. Brooklyn could conceivably house both, but a more likely scenario would be Durant and point guard Kyrie Irving signing as free agents with the Nets. Brooklyn is firmly Irving’s focus in free agency, league sources said.

Meanwhile, All-Star Kyrie Irving is fully focused on a potential deal with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources have told The Athletic. League sources say the Nets’ goals center upon forming a trio of Irving, Durant and free-agent center DeAndre Jordan. That is part of the intrigue in Brooklyn, the ability to take one commitment from Irving and turn it into the capability to sign all three. A trio of that magnitude should compete for multiple NBA championships in the Eastern Conference.
2 years ago via ESPN

On Jan. 9, the Celtics blitzed the Indiana Pacers at home, then flew out that night to Miami, arriving at the team hotel after 2 a.m. on Thursday. Boston was set to play the Miami Heat that night, but, team sources said, that didn’t stop some of the young players from heading to South Beach, where the clubs stay open well past 5 a.m. It’s not uncommon for NBA players to go out when they’re on the road, but Irving was irked teammates decided to do it in the middle of back-to-back games. The Celtics ended up submitting a lackluster effort in a 115-99 drubbing at the hands of the Heat.
2 years ago via ESPN

Stevens had regular discussions with Irving throughout the season, and Kyrie once praised Stevens as “a great basketball mind.” By season’s end, Irving had publicly questioned his coach’s tactics and management of the roster. “Kyrie really put Brad through the ringer,” one Celtics staffer noted. Stevens repeatedly blamed himself for his team’s mounting losses, vowing to do better, while his coaches became increasingly concerned about the toll it was exacting on their head coach. “He really beat himself up for how things went,” says Micah Shrewsberry, who left the Celtics to become Purdue’s associate head coach. “I know right now Brad’s watching every game 10 times over trying to figure out what he can do better.”
2 years ago via ESPN

“I want Kyrie to find happiness,” Stevens says. “If he does move on, I wish him nothing but good health and success. I saw a lot of great qualities in him.” Those qualities have been muted by the scorn of a jilted fan base that feels duped and betrayed by its point guard and his soon-to-be former teammates, who seemingly were assembled for a memorable title run. “I really don’t think it’s anyone’s fault,” Stevens says. “If you blame anyone, it’s me. I’m the guy who couldn’t fit the pieces.”

Nets skeptical of signing Kyrie Irving?

The question is if they can’t land Durant, do they still want Irving? Especially if they have to lose D’Angelo Russell — their own 23-year-old homegrown All-Star — to get him? It’s a question that has turned into a civil war among the fan base. It also has become an internal debate the Nets are having right now. The Post has confirmed Brooklyn might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving if he isn’t bringing the injured Durant with him.

Because of salary cap rules, if the trade is consummated in late July, the Lakers would have the space to add another maximum contract. That cap space could be used on players like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, all-star point guards who will be free agents. That scenario would require the Lakers to draft the fourth overall pick for the Pelicans, or whatever team has its rights by the time of the draft, then sign that player as quickly as possible. League rules do not allow a signed draft pick to be traded for 30 days, which would make July 20 the earliest date the trade could be consummated.

Should Irving leave, and the team’s bid for an Anthony Davis trade fall through, then short of moving ahead with what’s left, Danny Ainge’s creativity will be tested like never before. Though he wouldn’t share specifics, Grousbeck has admittedly heard some fairly exotic scenarios being discussed. “There’s definitely scenarios being spun inside the basketball office,” he said. “I’m there every day listening to them, that involve a number of players. I’ve heard a lot of scenarios. We’ll just see what happens.”

To be fair to the situation, any story involving Irving needs to contain a disclaimer. While the two sources cited in the second paragraph are to be trusted, most anything involving Irving should be seen as a fluid matter. Nothing can be truly settled until a contract is signed, and that cannot take place until the NBA moratorium ends on July 6 at noon Eastern Time. And, as Celtic followers have come to know, Irving remains eminently capable of changing his mind.

Kyrie Irving not ruling out return to Celtics

The Celtics have known from the start that the All-Star point guard will not be accepting the $21,329,752 for next season and will look to sign a longer term deal. The club is not waiting on the deadline, in that Irving does not have to opt out; the final year on the contract is removed if he does nothing. According to multiple league sources, Irving still has not removed the Celtics from consideration as he contemplates where to sign as a free agent, though the assumption around the NBA was he was looking to go elsewhere to join up with another marquee free agent. That concept was placed in some measure of doubt when Kevin Durant — the most prominent of the potential 2019 free agents — suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night.

But thanks to general manager Sean Marks paying a heavy price to clear Crabbe’s contract — one of his few mistakes since taking the job — the Nets have $68 million to spend if they renounce point guard D’Angelo Russell, and $48 million even including his cap hold. Sources have said the Nets would consider pairing Russell with Irving, and Kevin Boyle — who coached both in high school — insists they’re friends and would thrive together. Russell liked and commented on an Instagram post showing his jersey next to an Irving Nets jersey.

However, Adrian Wojnarowski noted on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo that Durant’s injury is most likely going to affect Kyrie Irving’s decision. “I think the one player it really impacts is Kyrie Irving,” said Woj. “because both the Knicks and the Nets hoped that Kyrie and KD could be a package deal, that they could sign them. Both [teams] are in a position to sign them. And Kyrie Irving certainly has a significant interest in being back in New York. If he leaves Boston, that’s the top of his list and he, I’ve been told, is really focused on Brooklyn if he was to sign with one of the New York teams. “So now the question is, for the Nets, for the Knicks, is would you sign Kyrie Irving as a solo act or would Kevin Durant want to come and essentially be a red shirt.”
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