In fact, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report was the first to point out the difficulties encountered during the last round of talks between the Nets and Kyrie Irving. (Kristian Winfield, of course, first talked about how things might go south a month ago, saying the Nets were “absolutely unwilling to give (Irving) a long-term extension.”)
Fischer presented his last report on Thursday in an online conversation Thursday with Boardroom’s Eddie Gonzalez,
“I worked on the assumption that all three – Kevin, Kyrie, Ben Simmons – will be there for the start of training camp. However, there is a lot of talk about Kyrie,” he told Gonzalez on Thursday. “Some wonder if they’ll find a long-term relationship.”
He added that he hadn’t been able to confirm anything specific about Irving and admitted there was little out of the Nets camp about what was going on. Now, after Shams Charania said the two sides were at an “impasse,” Fischer has written things up on Bleacher Report.
Ultimately, although the sticking point is the duration of the contract, the two parties do not close the doors.
[T]he dialogue between Irving, his representation and Nets management should be fluid in the run-up to his decision. Both sides seem keen to have ongoing conversations about building together in Brooklyn, where the Nets can return to the championship aspirations they had last campaign. Since exiting the playoffs, Brooklyn officials have worked on the assumption that Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons will return to Barclays Center for the 2022-23 season.
Fischer did not provide details on the sticking point other than the length of the contract.
[T]The Brooklyn Nets and All-Star guard still have some way to go for both sides to surface content on expansion talks, sources tell B/R. The Nets naturally prefer a shorter-term deal , loaded with incentives that includes benchmarks such as games played, sources said. Irving, having missed a lot of injury time in recent seasons, has prioritized a longer-term contract.
Like Shams, Fischer noted possible landing spots for Irving but also breaking them down, discussed the degree of difficulty involved in getting things done. He said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is an Irving fan, but signing Mavs free agent Jalen Brunson is New York’s top priority.
There is a path for Irving to decline his option and sign with New York as an unrestricted free agent. Part of the Irving and Knicks mutual interest rumors is that head coach Tom Thibodeau is an Irving fan. But New York would have to lose significant pay, sacrifice valuable project capital in the process and still likely need to stretch a contract or two to free up space to meet Irving’s nearly $40 million salaries.
Speaking to ESPN, Stephen A. Smith said on Monday that Irving wanted a fully guaranteed four-year extension which he called “outrageous.” due to his lack of availability, he has missed more than half of Nets games between 2019 and this year. Brian Windhorst said essentially the same thing Tuesday morning on the network. He called the news of the standoff a “leverage game” on Irving’s part.
Windhorst added to the discussion with an oddly worded comment on how rumors of Irving’s displeasure began to spread.
“At the end of last week, a couple of teams, uh, were contacted to let them know that Kyrie Irving might be in the market,” Windhorst said, apparently using the passive voice to hide who had reached out. “It wasn’t a complete and utter surprise as it was understood the Nets could play hardball. Kyrie officially came forward and said he planned to return and the Nets were under no obligation to offer him a full, maximum, guaranteed contract.
“So most of the league reads this as a leverage game, with Kyrie trying to leverage the Nets to give him something he wants on a new contract, whether it’s an opt-out and a new deal to extend his current deal. The reality is that he doesn’t have many options and it will likely come down to if he’s willing to walk away from his contract and leave $36 million behind. on the table and open the window and go somewhere else without needing the Nets to trade it there.
“It’s really chicken game here. If the Nets believe he’s ready to just leave some money on the table, they might be willing to guarantee more money. If they call his bluff and he ends up staying in his contract, then the Nets would be in a good place. But at the end of the day, most people believe he will eventually return to the Nets. It’s just a matter of closing the deal.
He later added,
“I don’t know what the source of the report was, but I’ll tell you what the league’s perspective is. The league’s view is that it was an effort on Kyrie Irving’s side to create leverage, because one of the things that has developed here as a result of the end of the season is that the Nets seemed to draw a line in the sand with Kyrie. It should be in sand because sand can be smoothed out very quickly. The Nets have already drawn lines in the sand.
Fischer’s record is similar and he also mentioned that rumors have been circulating since the Draft Combine a month ago that Irving may have had it. He made believe that it was Irving’s camp that was spreading these rumors.
In any negotiation, it’s fair for a player of Irving’s caliber to look for lucrative exit ramps. Irving’s interest in the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks has been circulating among league staff since the NBA Draft Combine in mid-May, but few team executives have given him much credit. this chatter.
No league figure contacted by B/R expects Irving to play for a non-Brooklyn team on a one-year contract except at the mid-level. It seems, and always has seemed clear, that Irving’s best-case scenario for lucrative wins and a championship environment is with the Nets.
There’s also the moment in Shams history that virtually everyone inside and outside the HSS training facility believes was a plant from Irving’s camp. As Mark W. Sanchez wrote in the New York Post on Tuesday, “The timing — three days before the draft — is certainly no coincidence. The report lists the Lakers, Knicks and Clippers as teams that would be interested suitors (Irving apparently prefers big cities).
Is the project a deadline for some kind of agreement? Sean Marks went quiet as he often does before big decisions.
Of course, trying to figure out what Irving will ultimately do isn’t always easy. He was willing to give up $14.5 million in salary this season to justify his stance on vaccination mandates. It is not governed by standards.