The 2022 NBA Draft is less than 24 hours away and with free agencies also fast approaching, there are many interesting stories to watch.
Nothing more than the future of the Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving, who could turn down the $ 36.5 million ($ 52.9 million) player option and become a free agent this season.
In case you missed it, The Athletic NBA Shams Charania said earlier this week that Irving and the Nets are at a dead end over their future in Brooklyn.
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“Many sources say The Athletic “Discussions about Irving’s future have remained stagnant between him and the Nets,” Harania wrote.
“There is currently a stalemate between the parties that paves the way for the seven-time All-Star to look at the open market,” the sources said.
The New York Post Brian Lewis said that while there is a “dead end”, both sides “are still working to find a happy medium” as opposed to Irving going straight to the exit door.
That said, however, many rival teams have already been linked with the Nets superstar, including a possible reunion with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers.
Speaking to SportsCenter on Thursday morning, ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the Lakers “are considered the most significant threat at the moment” for Irving’s signing.
This, of course, comes with a catch, because it’s not that simple, especially for a team like the Lakers.
“His options outside the Nets, especially if the Nets are not willing or involved in sign-and-trade talks, are limited,” Wojnarowski said.
“The Lakers are considered the most significant threat to Kyrie Irving at the moment, but that would actually mean getting $ 30 million ($ 43 million) less than he can choose in Brooklyn. There is a $ 6 million ($ 8.7 million) tax exemption he can sign with the Lakers.
“Now, most would say a player is not going to give that much money, but Kyrie Irving left nearly $ 17 million ($ 24.6 million) last year because of his refusal to get vaccinated, lost a major shoe deal with Nike or is in the process of losing this shoe deal with Nike. “
NBA teammate Mark Stein has been told it would be “very difficult” at this stage to indicate that the Lakers are “pursuing” Irving.
“They do not have the commercial assets to engage realistically with Brooklyn in Irving’s trade talks, even if he selects his player for next season,” he wrote in his Substack.
“Also: The Lakers, as things stand, could not offer Irving more than a mid-level exemption for tax-paying teams for next season if Irving overrides his choice of player to choose the free agent.
“This MLE, remember, exceeds the projected $ 6.39 million ($ 9.3 million). Irving’s idea to turn down his player option and actually play for $ 30 million ($ 43 million) less in LA, even after the $ 15 million ($ 21.7 million) he willingly sacrificed last season and lost the first 35 games of the season, it just does not seem reasonable “.
However, Stein added that there were “credible voices” that Irving spoke with Lakers star James.
“To discuss a possible reunion in Hollywood,” he added.
As for Irving’s reports linking him to the Lakers, Clippers and Knicks as potential suitors, Stein said rival teams see it as a tactic to get the Nets to offer him a better deal.
However, Stein added that Miami is said to have “some level of interest” in Irving and will have more viable commercial assets to offer if he reaches this point in Brooklyn.
The Nets will be desperate to avoid getting that far, with Wojnarowski reporting ESPNthat the franchise’s “deep fear” is that if Irving walks in, Kevin Durant “will want a trade.”
“Irving’s impenetrable connection with Durand seems like a domino to break the roster,” he wrote.
“Brooklyn crosses the narrowest path: It maintains the conviction for Irving’s contract talks and maintains Durand’s desire to remain a net.”
Wojnarowski said that last season rival agendas and players told them about “Durant’s willingness to talk to potential free agents”, but this is no longer the case.
With four years left on his contract, however, Durant may not have much to say about where he will be traded, which Wojnarowski described as “a small market group dream”.
COMMERCIAL TURN MAY AFFECT AUTHOR’S LANDING POINT IN THE PLAN
In other news, the Portland Trail Blazers have not completed their moves before this year’s draft.
This is according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, who said that Portland is “seeking” a trade for the Toronto Raptors striker, OG Anunoby.
This is after the Blazers made a move on Thursday to attract Detroit Pistons star Jerami Grant.
Haynes said Portland’s No. 7 pick in this year’s draft would be at the heart of any deal, which could have a direct impact on Australian Dyson Daniels.
Daniels is expected to be selected with either the seventh (Blazers) or the eighth (Pelicans) general selection on Friday.
The Raptors were one of the teams Daniels met at the NBA Combine in May, where he made a significant impression to win the drafts.
Toronto currently has no first-round pick after trading No. 20 in the San Antonio Spurs with Goran Dragic for Thad Young and No. 33 in the draft.
HAWKS STAR “LOOKING FORWARD” TO MOVE THIS OUT OF SEASON
Speaking of Portland’s exchange for Grant, it is unlikely to be the only major deal reached before the draft starts, with the Atlanta Hawks expected to move on to John Collins this summer.
Collins has four years on the $ 125 million ($ 181 million) five-year contract with the Hawks, which includes a player selection for the 2025-26 season.
“The odds of a John Collins trade, according to league sources, are as high as ever,” Stein wrote in his Substack.
“I have been informed that Collins’s relocation this off-season is more or less expected now.”
The Trail Blazers were mentioned by Stein as a team “of interest” to Collins, although this seems unlikely now after the Grant trade.
The Sacramento Kings were Collins’s other fiancé and could create an attractive package around No. 4 of their overall pick in this year’s draft.
“IMPORTANT” HARD MOVEMENT, AUSSIE CAN EXCHANGE IN PHILLY
By the way, one of the other big names watching this off-season this season is Sixers superstar James Harden.
According to Wojnarowski, Harden is “going” to choose to sign a $ 47 million player option with the Sixers and then extend it for up to two years.
“Probably something less than a maximum contract, but it’s still a significant commitment,” Wojnarowski said. Athletic Center.
In other Sixers news, The Philadelphia Inquirerstates that the franchise is targeting PJ Tucker among the revelations that he will be excluded from the selection of the $ 7.4 million ($ 10.7 million) player for the 2022-23 season with the Heat to be released instead.
The Sixers reportedly want to offer him a three-year, $ 30 million ($ 43.4 million) contract, but do not have the space to do so.
Australian Matisse Thybulle could enter there.
sources said The Questioner that the Sixers are “looking” to make a three-team trade that could see Thybulle and No. 23 in this year’s draft move forward.
Philadelphia is also trying to exchange Tobias Harris but The Questioner states that “he is going through difficult times to get the teams to take on his lucrative contract”.
Tucker is also said to be interested in a move to Philadelphia, but that will depend entirely on the Sixers having enough space to sign him.
Of course, with Friday’s draft approaching, they run out of time to do so if they want to use this No. 23 option in any promotions.