Kevin Durant reportedly worked hard behind the scenes to get Kyrie Irving a long-term max deal with the Brooklyn Nets. As team owner Joe Tsai stood firm, Irving ultimately caved and opted into his contract.
After realizing he wouldn't get what he wanted in Brooklyn, Durant asked Tsai for a change of scenery. The stage is now set for a reunion with the enigmatic point guard somewhere else, as Irving could also be shipped out in the coming weeks.
Speaking on "The Odd Couple" podcast, Chris Broussard simply couldn’t believe why KD would continue to push for a chance to play with Irving:
"What is KD thinking!? You can be buddies on different teams. Why in the world would you again hitch your horse to Kyrie Irving!?
"If this is true, it's damning. Damning, I tell you! Why? Wouldn’t you rather play with Damian Lillard and a host of others?"
A few days ago, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the LA Lakers could be preparing a package to bring Durant and Irving to Hollywood.
If that were to happen, the Lakers would have to let go of Anthony Davis, who they have reportedly refused to consider in trade discussions.
Kevin Durant is interested in playing for the Miami Heat but not without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry.
Brooklyn will not even consider Miami if two of those players and more are involved in a trade.
Ditto for the Phoenix Suns, who can’t trade Devin Booker for a few reasons. It remains to be seen if the Brooklyn Nets will bite on the offer of Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and a slew of picks.
With the way teams are set up, it’s nearly impossible for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to play for the same team again.
Irving's declining value poses a major obstacle to their reported goal of playing together again. Teams will line up for Durant, but they’ll try to avoid Irving if they have a choice.
The two players may wish to be part of the same team again, but it's unlikely to happen. The All-Star Game is probably the only time they will be teammates again.
The Brooklyn Nets have nearly all the leverage in Kevin Durant trade talks
Kevin Durant still has four years remaining on his contract, which makes him a mouthwatering prospect for almost any team. He can’t veto any trade the Brooklyn Nets come up with. Durant may push for a move to the Phoenix Suns, but the Nets are not obliged to listen to him.
One thing going for the Suns is that they have one of the most attractive packages Brooklyn can get for the former MVP. Even without Devin Booker, a package of Bridges, Ayton, Cam Johnson and future first-round picks will be tough to match for any other team.
The Toronto Raptors also emerged as dark horses in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.
Adrian Wojnarowski had an interesting take on how Masai Ujiri’s team can spring a surprise:
"I think a team that's lurking is Toronto. They have all the kinds of pieces that you would want and their picks to do a deal for Kevin Durant. Masai Ujiri, you saw the chance he took on Kawhi Leonard."
Where KD ends up playing next season is anyone's guess. However, it looks certain that whichever team he plays for, it’s not going to be with buddy Kyrie Irving.