The Kyrie Irving saga continues for the Brooklyn Nets, who want to remain competitive even if the All-Star guard leaves the team this offseason.
Irving has picked up his player option, worth $36.9M, but he is open to part ways with the franchise and join a fellow title contender.
For their part, the Nets have no intention to go into a rebuild mode and want to remain a contender next season. Therefore, they want a top player in return, not draft picks.
“The Nets’ current stance, sources say, is that they are unwilling to send out Irving in a trade if the deal solely brings back future assets,” Marc Stein of Substack reports.
At the moment, only the Los Angeles Lakers have shown interest to trade for Kyrie Irving and are willing to offer two first-round picks (2027, 2029) and Russell Westbrook.
Following LeBron James’ contract extension, the 17-time NBA champions are focused on bolstering their roster and view Irving as their top target.
Given Brooklyn’s current demands, talks could progress only if the Nets agree to receive Westbrook in return.
Kyrie Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds this past season, but missed a significant part of the season due to his unvaccinated status.