After all the drama coming out of Brooklyn this NBA offseason regarding All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both will now apparently open the 2022-23 season with the Nets following the news today that Durant and his camp have decided to move ahead with the partnership. On Monday, it was reported the Nets were telling teams they weren't trading Irving. Brooklyn was +1800 this morning at Caesars Sportsbook to win its first NBA title but has since dropped to +1100 with the Durant news.
On Monday, Durant, his business manager Rich Kleiman, Coach Steve Nash, general manager Sean Marks, and team owners Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai reportedly met in Los Angeles where the sides hashed things out. Previously, Durant allegedly gave Joe Tsai an ultimatum to either dispose of Marks and Nash or trade him.
"We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn," Marks said in a statement.
Brooklyn's title odds were as high as +5000 this offseason. The Nets are now +500 third favorites to win the East behind the Celtics (+225), once considered the favorites for Durant, and Bucks (+300). Brooklyn has an over/under win total of 51.5. Durant's MVP odds have shrunk to +900. His four-year, $198 million extension he signed last offseason kicks in this season.
As for Irving, the Athletic reported Monday that he has been working out with teammates and holding "constructive dialogue" with the organization this offseason. Irving and Durant played just 17 regular-season games together last year due to injury and Irving's COVID vaccination status. The Nets were 11-6 in those games.
Barring something unforeseen, we get a spectacular Nets season opener Oct. 19 at home vs. New Orleans, another team that was in on Durant. That also will be the first game since the 2020-21 season for the Nets' Ben Simmons and Pelicans' Zion Williamson.
The sport's focus now turns to the Utah Jazz as they decide whether to trade All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the New York Knicks.
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