Trade talks involving Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remain stagnant even with all the league’s general managers gathered together in Las Vegas, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The Nets are determined to be patient and won’t give up either player without getting what they want in return, Lewis adds.
Lewis describes any Durant discussions as being “just at the talking stage, and likely the not-too-serious kind.” He states that Brooklyn is focused on moving Durant first because the Lakers appear to be the only real market for Irving and the Nets would have to take back Russell Westbrook‘s $47MM salary, which could limit flexibility in a Durant deal.
Rumors involving the Warriors as a potential landing spot for Durant seem to have cooled, Lewis notes. Stephen Curry addressed the situation indirectly on Saturday, dismissing “the rumor mill” and adding, “I like where we’re at” in terms of the current roster.
Here are a few more notes related to Durant and Irving:
- No matter what the return is, the Durant era will be remembered as a “catastrophic failure” for Nets management, Lewis adds in a separate piece. Although the process could drag out for weeks or even months, Lewis doesn’t believe speculation that Durant and Irving might eventually play for Brooklyn again or claims that the Raptors wouldn’t part with Scottie Barnes in a Durant deal.
- The Nets and the teams that they’re talking to are all being cautious about putting a Durant trade together, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who adds that there’s no guarantee a deal will be reached before the end of Summer League. “If you’re the Nets, you can get a sense of how far some teams are going to go,” Wojnarowski said, “and if you’ve feel like they’ve gone as far as they’re going to go with you, is that good enough for Kevin Durant? Because in any scenario you’re probably not getting value for Kevin Durant. There’s no deal where you can say, ‘Hey, we’re better for this. It’s just the best you can get. And again with the four years left on his contract, you could wait it out.”
- Durant is refusing to listen to recruiting pitches from other players around the league, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said on a recent Posted Up podcast. Other than occasional posts on Twitter, Durant isn’t in contact with anyone outside of his inner circle, Haynes adds. “Numerous stars have been trying to get in touch with him to pick his brain to see if he would consider other avenues,” Haynes said. “Just want to get a sense of what he’s thinking. … KD has gone dark. He’s not talking to anybody. Not answering anybody’s phone calls, not responding to texts, KD has gone dark.”
- The Lakers may be divided over whether to pursue Irving at all, Jovan Buha said on the The Athletic NBA Show podcast. Buha has heard that LeBron James wants to trade for Irving, but others in the organization would rather use their assets to try to get Buddy Hield and Myles Turner from the Pacers.