In 2019, the Brooklyn Nets saw their championship chances soar when All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both decided to team up and join the Nets on a free-hand basis.
While Durant missed rehab all year after his Achilles tendon surgery and Irving only played 20 games before having shoulder surgery, all was well in Brooklyn knowing the 2020-21 season had a chance to be something very special will.
The Nets finished 48-24 that year, clinching 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, and they looked like favorites in the playoffs, especially since they were midseason for All-Star and former league MVP James Harden , had been exchanged.
However, with Harden struggling with a hamstring injury and Irving out with a badly sprained ankle, the Nets went into a crucial Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and if Kevin Durant’s shoe size were just an inch smaller, Brooklyn would have it That went into the Eastern Conference Finals that year and who knows, they might end up winning their first championship in team history.
This is truly one of the biggest “what ifs” in NBA history given that James Harden is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kyrie Irving’s future remains very uncertain and Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Nets this offseason.
Everything that could have gone wrong for the Nets in the 2021-22 season did, and now they are on the brink of complete disaster and need to hit the “reset button” again as a franchise.
This leads us to ponder the million dollar question everyone is asking right now:
“What will happen to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant?”
There has been so much speculation on numerous social media platforms as to what will happen to the Nets’ two superstars, but at the end of the day, nobody really knows what’s going to happen, and nobody but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving has.” Insider -Information” about what will happen.
Of course, other teams have spoken out about Brooklyn and trade talks they’ve had in the league, but over the past three weeks there’s never been any traction on a Kevin Durant trade, and the Nets have never come close to reaching a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers So does Kyrie Irving, according to some league executives who spoke to SI Fastbreak about the nets.
At the end of the day, however, all roads lead back to Irving and Durant. They’re the only two people who really know how this is going to play out because they’re the ones holding up the future of the Brooklyn Nets.
Sure, the team could trade them for anything they want, but Kyrie Irving’s market has shrunk to just one team in the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Nets really aren’t interested in anything Los Angeles has to offer them, particularly to All-Star Guard Russell Westbach.
Regarding Durant, the Nets have been in touch with several teams who have offered them numerous trade packages, but Brooklyn has not moved forward with trade talks as no team in the league has offered the value the Nets have placed on one of their top players of the League in Kevin Durant.
Brooklyn didn’t want Deandre Ayton in a sign-and-trade deal from the Phoenix Suns and sources say the Toronto Raptors have never offered reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes for Kevin Durant in a potential deal.
Rudy Gobert was recently traded from the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that gave the Jazz five players and five first-round picks, one of which was a pick swap. Many in the league have said that this trade specifically killed the trade market and any team looking to pursue the Nets superstar up front.
If Gobert brings that kind of value to his team, Durant should hypothetically bring back twice the amount of draft assets as Gobert and at least one proven All-Star talent because when he’s healthy, he’s arguably the best player in the NBA.
“The market is dead. The rate of inflation that has hit the trading market in this league since the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert is absolutely ridiculous,” a league executive told Fastbreak. “If you ask me, Brooklyn needs to do everything it can to improve relationships with their boys because if a trade ultimately fails, they will end up being the biggest losers.
“The nets will no longer get the same value that jazz just got for Gobert. Those offers have come and gone.”
Looking at this situation from the perspective of the big picture, it really isn’t crazy to think that the Nets will be quietly working behind the scenes to mend these relationships. Kyrie Irving is clearly unhappy with the team’s reluctance to offer him a long-term contract and it’s easy to see where Kevin Durant’s frustration is coming from.
Durant did everything he could to try to lead the Nets to a title, but at the end of the day, external noise and internal conflicts severed the bond between this team’s front office and its players.
Just because the trade market has shaken up this offseason, it’s not hard to believe that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will be on the Brooklyn Nets roster as the 2022-23 season begins.
Will this still happen?
Only time will tell what the future holds for two of the NBA’s best overall talents.