With the NBA draft three days away and free agency just around the corner, trade talks, signings, and prosecutions for all 30 teams have begun in earnest. Across the league, major free agents — and potential free agents — are being watched: Zach LaVine of Chicago, Bradley Beal of Washington, James Harden of Philadelphia, Deandre Ayton of Phoenix, Miles Bridges of Charlotte, Jalen Brunson of Dallas, Anferny Simons of Portland and other.
But one of the most anticipated free agent situations has to do with Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, who has a June 29 deadline for his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season. However, numerous sources report Athletic that talk of Irving’s future between him and the Nets had stalled. There is currently a stalemate between the parties, which leaves the seven-time All-Star an opportunity to consider an open market, the sources said.
Irving joined the Nets with Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019, although Durant missed their first season together as he recovered from a torn Achilles tendon. Irving was named to the All-Star Team in 2020-21 and, along with Durant and James Harden, helped the franchise reach the Eastern Conference semi-finals before injuring his ankle in the series against the Bucks. After last season, in which he only played 29 games and missed most of the season’s home games due to his decision not to honor New York’s vaccination mandate, Irving has made it clear he intends to return to the Nets in the summer and continue. build with Durant and newcomer Ben Simmons. He averaged 27.2 points, 6.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game and made 40.4 percent of his three-point attempts in three seasons with Brooklyn, but he appeared in 103 of 216 regular season games.
“I don’t really plan to go anywhere,” Irving said on April 25 after the Nets beat the Celtics in the first round of the East playoffs at the end of the season.
Nearly two months later, both sides have some serious work to do to find a solution that will bring Irving back to Brooklyn and his Durant partner, who has a 2025-26 contract with the Nets. Several teams across the league were monitoring the situation, wondering about the future of Irving and Brooklyn.
The Lakers, Knicks and Clippers are expected to be among interested fans if Irving travels elsewhere, multiple sources say. Athletic.
For the Lakers, the most likely route for acquiring Irving would be if he agreed to a trade because the Lakers can’t realistically clear space to sign him themselves, and signing and trading would set up a hard limit, which would make acquiring Irving much more difficult. . If Irving had agreed, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka would have had to comply with the wage agreement rules of the collective bargaining agreement, meaning that if Irving’s $36.6 million was the only paycheck incoming, the Lakers could send ” Nets” from 29.3 to 45.8 million dollars. /or the third team in a legal transaction.
The likely path to acquire Irving for the Knicks depends on the Nets’ priorities. New York is on par with the 2022-23 salary cap line, so it can free up enough room to sign Irving to a maximum contract by offloading the salaries of the likes of Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kemba Walker. But the Knicks could also offer some or all of these players to the Nets or a third team in a possible trade.
For the Clippers, the likely path to get Irving requires his approval because they are well over both the luxury tax threshold and the hard cap for 2022-23. To ensure salary match, the Clippers would need to send between $29.3 million and $45.8 million to the Nets and/or a third team if Irving was the only salary they would receive. The Clippers’ scenario is less complex than the Lakers’, as the Clippers have a range of $11 million to $17 million players to work with. For example, two or three of Norman Powell, Marcus Morris, Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson who go out satisfies CBA trading rules and they also have a group of young players like Terence Mann or Brandon Boston who could sweeten the deal .
Irving’s potential departure would have been incredibly devastating for the Nets due to their limited ability to replace him and his payroll had Irving signed elsewhere as a free agent. The more likely route to any departure would be through a sign and trade. Brooklyn owes $111 million to six players in the 2022-2023 season, not counting Irving, so even filling out the minimum-wage roster will see the Nets exceed next season’s projected $122 million salary cap. If Irving escapes, Brooklyn’s strongest route to attracting talent will be a total $10.3 million elimination of the midfielder. Irving is also eligible for a new deal by exercising his player option and extending his contract from there, which could net him a $45.2 million starting salary for the 2023-24 season.
For the Nets, free agent Irving is worth keeping an eye on as the NBA draft and free agent approach.
Other NBA News and Notes
Hawks defenseman Lou Williams intends to continue his playing career, said his agent Wallace Prather. “(Williams) has no plans to retire and I will be actively talking to teams during free agency,” Prather said. Williams, a 17-year veteran, averaged 6.3 points and 14.3 minutes per game in 56 contests last season.
Competitor executives expect the Hornets’ restricted free agent Miles Bridges to hit the maximum – or near maximum – deal in July, and sources said Charlotte is hesitant to match the maximum sheet. Bridges had a breakthrough in 2021/22 averaging 20.2 points, seven rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. In a league where wingers like Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins and Boston’s Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown had a decisive influence on the run to the NBA Finals, Bridges’ ability on the wing was incredibly valued for the win.
Cavaliers restricted free agent Colleen Sexton has been cleared to play full-time basketball, sources say. In November, Sexton underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus and made a full recovery on the eve of becoming a free agent. Competitor executives believe the Sexton market could be as high as $20 million a year.
The Pacers are seriously discussing deals involving Malcolm Brogdon and Miles Turner, sources say. Sources say the Wizards and Knicks are interested in Brogdon, armed with the 10th and 11th spades, respectively. Sources say the Hornets are showing interest in Turner. However, Indiana, which is the 6th pick in the draft, may choose to continue retooling its veteran core rather than completely rebuilding around younger players.
Sources say the Timberwolves have been discussing deals with veteran centers, including Atlanta’s Clint Capella.
Sources say the Kings are feeling increasingly comfortable with a 4th overall pick in Thursday’s draft and described the high price tag for teams behind them in the lottery trying to trade. Sacramento General Manager Monte McNair has been involved in conversations about Hawks forward John Collins — among a host of other established and productive players in the market — but Collins’ discussions have not included a fourth pick, and McNair will eventually take over, according to sources. choice decision.
Sources say the Jazz are planning a second interview with nearly all 15 head coach candidates as the next step in the process.
15 head coach candidates: Knicks assistant Johnny Bryant; current assistant Alex Jensen; Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin Celtics assistant Will Hardy; Bucks assistant Charles Lee; Heating assistant Chris Quinn; Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney; Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla; Piston mate Jerome Allen; 76ers assistant Sam Cassell; G League head coach Jason Terry; former Lakers coach Frank Vogel; and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts.
• Auburn’s Jabari Smith, who trained and faced the Magic (No. 1) and Thunder (No. 2) during the pre-draft, is a virtual lock to make the top two in the draft. He remains the favorite to become No. 1.
• Shaydon Sharp of Kentucky is the mystery man of the NBA draft. Sharpe is predicted to have a high lottery selection and sources say he has been doing strong group training such as three-on-three and four-on-four bouts to showcase his ability to teams who haven’t seen him play organized basketball for last year or two. Instead of doing one-on-one training, Sharpe gravitated toward competition, training for teams between the Nos. 1-13 draft ranges.
• Michael Foster of G League Ignite will eventually work with 15 teams. His 6-foot-9 height and expected next-level versatility make him a sleeper candidate in the draft. In 13 games for Ignite last season, Foster averaged 14.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
(Photo: Winslow Townson/USA Today)