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Kyrie Irving next NBA team odds: Nets guard to seek sign-and-trade, Kevin Durant's future in Brooklyn also in doubt

All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving's days as a Net are all but over
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It was always going to end this way. The Brooklyn Nets have given star point guard Kyrie Irving permission to seek a sign-and-trade deal out of town, reports Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. While momentum has been building in this direction ever since it became apparent that the Nets were unwilling to commit to a new long-term deal for Irving, this latest news all but makes it official that Irving will be playing in a different uniform next season -- and consequently, so too might Kevin Durant.

Irving's tenure in Brooklyn has often been turbulent, to say the least. The Nets were often forced to operate without him due to a variety of off-the-court issues, but Irving's sheer level of talent forced the team to entertain his instability to a certain degree. Irving's presence was also what helped lure Durant to Brooklyn, and the Nets had hoped to charge to an NBA title with the two superstars at the helm. 

Those hopes never materialized. Nets owner Joe Tsai is by all accounts unwilling to tie himself to Irving moving forward, and Irving now reportedly has six teams he'd be interested in joining: the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks, the Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Dallas Mavericks. Of those six teams, the Clippers currently boast the best odds of winning the 2023 NBA title at Caesars Sportsbook at +750. 

A reunion with LeBron James in a Lakers uniform has long been rumored for Irving, but any move there would surely necessitate the offloading of Russell Westbrook -- a player one imagines the Nets would be unenthusiastic about adding. A crosstown move to the Knicks would certainly be intriguing, but New York seems focused on adding free agent guard Jalen Brunson, especially after they hired Brunson's father and all but punted on the first round of the NBA draft to create room for him. The Sixers feel like trouble waiting to happen, given that James Harden maneuvered a midseason trade to Philadelphia, by all accounts to get away from Irving. 

That leaves the Clippers, Heat and Mavericks as the leading suitors. Irving would certainly form a formidable trio alongside Paul George and a healthy Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles, and the same would be true of a potential partnership with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in Miami. Dallas could decide to let Brunson walk to the Knicks and pair Irving with Luka Doncic, who clearly needs a second star beside him. 

SportsLine offered odds on Irving's next team last week, with the Clippers leading the pack at +300.

Regardless of where Irving ends up, it remains to be seen what will become of Durant. The future Hall-of-Famer has reportedly still not spoken with Nets management, and it's hard to imagine him wanting to stay around if Irving is forced out. The Nets lack both the cap space and the leverage to turn Irving -- clearly a distressed asset -- into enough talent to keep Brooklyn afloat as a legitimate title contender. Ben Simmons, who came to the Nets in the Harden deal, has still not yet played a minute for his new team and is unproven as a true winner in the NBA. Durant wants to win another ring before his time in the league comes to an end. If he decides that his best opportunity to do so lies elsewhere, he could leave. 

While Irving's departure feels set in stone, a Durant exodus would truly spell the end of this brief but explosive chapter in Nets history. The Irving-Durant experiment, complete with the forced instillation of Steve Nash as head coach, has failed. A Durant-Simmons duet -- even with a healthy Joe Harris returning next season to offer more shooting support -- feels destined to crash and burn as well.

Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will Kyrie Irving open next season with if not the Nets?

  • Clippers +300
  • Knicks +400
  • Lakers +500
  • Mavericks +700
  • Heat +900
  • Bulls +1500

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SportsLine Staff