Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant aren’t as close as they used to be

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Here’s a better question: How likely is Durant to retire with the Nets? His loyalty was always with Irving more than with the organization. According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell’s comments to SportsCenter, Durant and Irving aren’t as close as they used to be. “At every turn publicly, [Kevin Durant] was there to support [Kyrie Irving], say we need Kyrie, say Kyrie can win a title with me here in Brooklyn. But I can tell you that I’ve been talking to people in the organization for the last two weeks, when they’ve finally sat down and talked to Kevin all summer long, they’re trying to find out if Kevin saw this that everyone has seen. … The reason the whole season was hijacked is because they couldn’t count on Kyrie, and they didn’t know if he was going to be there. And the problem with Kevin is that he really wants to win, he wants to be faithful to his friend. But I have been told that this relationship, although very close, is not always as close as it seems.
Credit: Ricky O’Donnell @ SB Nation

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Eric Pincus @EricPincus
Last @Laundress report A 3-team Kyrie Irving trade between Lakers-Nets-Thunder could make everyone happy – I mean, it’s the internet, nothing is going to make everyone happy. Nonetheless, I dug into why this might add bleacherreport.com/articles/10039… – 01:09

alexander kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
What’s new on Kyrie Irving’s future? @Michael Scotto talking about it now: twitter.com/i/spaces/1RDGl…11:08 p.m.

David Hardy @clutch fans
Said @KendrickPerkins: “It’s not going to be a ‘might’ that Kevin Durant ‘might’ want out. He’s going to want out if the Brooklyn Nets don’t offer Kyrie that long-term extension. – 9:54 p.m.

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA
ICYMI: Lowe Post Podcast: Steve Kerr goes behind the scenes of GSW title race, then @Jonathan Givony on all things Draft/Trade Rumors/Kyrie/Free Agency, plus:
Spotify: spoti.fi/3O99jdO
Apple: apple.co/3biyGv5 – 9:22 p.m.

Bill Oram @billoram
In which I say – through gritted teeth – that the Lakers should pursue Kyrie Irving if he is truly available, but only because they’ve backed themselves into such a corner that they can’t afford to ask the questions. more important. theathletic.com/3379101/2022/0… – 8:27 p.m.

StatMuse @statmuse
Things Kyrie must do to join the Lakers:
— Leaving hometown
— Leave his best friend
— Leaving $30 million on the table
If LeBron is successful, he’s the greatest GM of all time. pic.twitter.com/bHYQ06sSr17:33 p.m.

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
The Pistons could break Twitter right now by absorbing Russell Westbrook with their new cap space.
Take the first 27/29 and help the Lakers pave the way for Kyrie lmao. No Pistons fan will agree with that, but it would be like trading Grant and space for three 1sts. – 6:12 p.m.

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Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
New @FrontOfficeShow is in place! @Trevor_Lane & I speak Kyrie (Lakers???), Harden, Options (Tucker, Batum, Connaughton), Hornets and even Ja Raffe! Watch, like and subscribe below. Soon 18,000 subscribers!
Also join us tomorrow night for our live NBA Draft show!
youtube.be/te7GNDjC2J4 – 5:35 p.m.

Kamenetzky brothers @KamBrothers
I’m on it @ESPNLosAngeles with@John Ireland from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT! Talking Lakers, Dodgers, Gonsolin, Kyrie, NBA draft, the MANDY Awards, Rams, then to come @hulu Doc Lakers and more! Listen ! AK– 4:28 p.m.

Eric Bucher @ricbucher
What’s next for the core Warriors, Kyrie Irving, Deandre Ayton and others foxsports.com/stories/nba/wh… – 3:57 p.m.

David Hardy @clutch fans
Windhorst thinks Kyrie’s stuff is mostly “saber-braking” and most think he’ll be back in Brooklyn: “His opportunity to go to another team really doesn’t have much bite. If he’s really threatening, he should step down…and take a $25-30 million pay cut (elsewhere). – 3:54 p.m.

Mark Stein @LaLigneStein
The latest on Kyrie Irving, who other teams are rightfully taking into consideration in the discussion, updates on Jalen Brunson and PJ Tucker and more…all via my latest league notebook freshly shipped in the worldwide: marcstein.substack.com/p/kyrie-irving … – 3:48 p.m.

Jabari Davis @JabariDavisNBA
people really believe they KNOW what Kyrie is thinking and planning and that’s lovely to me. just precious 😂 – 3:39 p.m.

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I’ll believe Kyrie taking the TPMLE when I see him. I’m not dismissing him out of hand because he’s not a totally rational actor, but I’m not ready to really think about it because it would be so crazy. I still think he re-signs with the Nets. – 3:35 p.m.

Anthony Puccio @APOUCHER
I will be sure @ESPNRadio during the 7-9 PM ET segment to discuss all things Nets/Kyrie Irving. To agree – 3:26 p.m.

Kurt Helin @talk about basketball
Report: Durant not recruiting free agents in Brooklyn this offseason, is it related to Irving? nba.nbcsports.com/2022/06/22/rep… – 3:11 p.m.

David Hardy @clutch fans
Rockets if Kyrie leaves and KD asks for a trade pic.twitter.com/mQJ15jAa2a3:09 p.m.

David Hardy @clutch fans
Woj: “Kevin Durant remains very close to Kyrie Irving. They reunited and are still together. Durant wants Kyrie back. What do the Nets risk if Kyrie leaves: Does Kevin Durant ask for a trade?
He says Kyrie’s best leverage to get a big contract is pressure from KD. – 3:06 p.m.

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Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
The @Oklahoma City Thunder are the only franchise in NBA history to select a future MVP in three straight drafts:
✅ Kevin Durant (2007)
✅ Russell Westbrook (2008)
✅ James Harden (2009)
In fact, no other franchise has even selected a future MVP in back-to-back drafts. pic.twitter.com/Ynq6enOxHn3:01 p.m.

SiriusXM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
Reports suggest that Kyrie Irving’s future in Brooklyn is unclear.
Former Nets executive and current ESPN NBA front office insider @Bobby Marques recount @Franck Isola and @Brian Scalabrine why both parties have an interest in staying together #NetsWorld pic.twitter.com/ab3I3YtROZ2:36 p.m.

Aaron Rose @AaronBenRose
If you’re the Raptors and you had to (and could/they couldn’t) sign Kyrie or Harden at the most, who would you choose baggage and all – 2:30 PM

Austin Krel @NBAKrell
As for the report that the Nets are interested in PJ Tucker, besides the fact that KD apparently won’t help recruit guys, BKN is less than $2 million under the apron if we assume Kyrie and Patty Miles come back.
So they have a lot of work to do to create the NTMLE for Tucker. – 2:10 p.m.

Chris Brossard @Chris_Broussard
With @EphraimSalaam. How long should Deshaun Watson’s suspension be? AD/Russ for Kyrie/Simmons: Who says no? Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady and more! Guests: @martinweiss @Max_Van_Auken
Catch us live weeknights 7-10pm ET on @FoxSportsRadio & @iHeartRadio podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the… – 2:01 p.m.

StatMuse @statmuse
James Harden wins % with star teammates since 2012:
78.6 — CP3
69.8 — During
66.7 — Embiid
65.5—Westbrook pic.twitter.com/KuGLifsnPx1:42 p.m.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
For ESPN+ on Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and the Sum of All Brooklyn Nets Fears: es.pn/3OcBWa0 – 1:11 p.m.

Chris Fedor @Chris Fedor
#cavs value size and versatility. They need a big wing with two-way potential. Ousmane Dieng looks to Luka Doncic, Brandon Ingram, Kevin Durant and Paul George for advice and nuances. That’s a huge upside bet. Should the Cavs take it?
cleveland.com/cavs/2022/06/2… – 12:50 p.m.

StatMuse @statmuse
Most PPGs by a duo this season:
57.3 — Kyrie and Durant
56.0
55.0
54.0
53.5—LeBron and Davis
52.3—LaVine and DeMar pic.twitter.com/E6s9uoF5Vg12:31 p.m.

Anthony Puccio @APOUCHER
Woj lays out Kyrie Irving’s negotiations from the Nets’ perspective:
1. They want to stay “disciplined” on a set
2. They understand they run the risk of alienating Kevin Durant pic.twitter.com/9TF9NVo9H312:16 p.m.

Bobby Brands @BobbyMarks42
And here is the clip from this morning
Tim Legler on Kyrie Irving’s contract extension: Talent is NOT enough… youtu.be/hez9x-3LbOA via @Youtube11:00

Chris Mannix @SIC Chris Mannix
NEW @LeCrossover Pod with@HowardBeck: Unboxing breaking news on Kyrie, Celtics offseason, John Wall, more; draft preview with@Jeremy Woo. Links: bit.ly/2w1G5e2 – 10:22

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Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA
ICYMI: Lowe Post Podcast: Steve Kerr Goes Behind The Scenes Of Another GSW Title, Then @Jonathan Givony on all things Draft/Trade Rumors/Kyrie/Free Agency, plus:
Spotify: spoti.fi/3O99jdO
Apple: apple.co/3biyGv5 – 10:10 a.m.

Mary Schmitt Boyer/Jodie Valade @PDcavsinside
Happy Birthday Parade, Cleveland! 6 years ago, fans flooded the streets of downtown Cleveland for a championship parade that lasted half a century! @LeBron James @ Kyrie Irving @JR Smith
Photos: @H_Grove pic.twitter.com/Cn1lrAiOzC09:21

Kurt Helin @talk about basketball
Report: Point of friction between the Nets, Irving is the length of the contract nba.nbcsports.com/2022/06/22/rep… – 09:00

More on this scenario

Why? Because Kevin Durant is his buddy. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explained this to us in a recent report on ESPN+. If Irving leaves, there’s a chance KD leaves too. And Brooklyn doesn’t want that. “For all that owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks have done to assemble one of the most talented Big 3 in the modern NBA, Irving’s inscrutable connection to Durant stands as a domino for the dismantling of the list. Brooklyn straddles the narrowest of bridges: keeping conviction on Irving’s contract talks and keeping Durant’s desire to stay on the net. -via For Victory / June 23, 2022

Woj laid out the nightmare scenario for the Nets — which is a dream scenario for every other team: Irving’s exit leading to a KD trade request. Kyrie Irving’s search to cash in on his contract talks with the Brooklyn Nets won’t result in the threat of a $30 million pay cut to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the sum of the most feared deep in the franchise: Irving walks and Kevin Durant wants a trade. —via SB Nation/June 23, 2022

Matt Sullivan, who earned a front row seat as some of the drama unfolded in Brooklyn while writing his book ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ shared some of the malfunctions he witnessed. “I just remember not being able to talk to management, talk to coaches, talk to anybody without them being a little scared of these guys. Including Kenny Atkinson, who built this whole program,” Sullivan said in an interview on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. “He’s kind of like, ‘Let KD, the Maserati, be in the business, and let Kyrie be Kyrie. But Kyrie goes behind his back and gets him fired. Kenny Atkinson wonders if he should fly across the country and have a chat with this guy. —via Heavy.com / Jun 23, 2022

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