Kyrie Irving can still be technically changed, but all indications are that he will play for the Nets next season

From a purely technical point of view, Kyrie Irving turned to the last year, and about $ 37 million, which came with the rest of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, probably made it easier for another team to acquire him. There is no more uncertainty about his status. He is no longer afraid that he will drastically reduce his salary next season. Irving will simply be an expiring player next season, and expiring players are fairly easy to trade.

In fact, they are much easier to trade than upcoming free agents. When a team acquires a player through signing and trading, it triggers a hard limit on the luxury tax apron – expected to come in at about $ 155.7 million next season. Irving is reportedly interested in six teams besides the Nets for next season: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.

The Lakers and Clippers already have so much money for books that navigating this hard hat would be almost impossible. Heath, 76ers and Mavericks would also fight, albeit to a lesser extent. Only New York was comfortable in a position to swallow Irving through a deal, and it’s unclear if they ever wanted to. So yes, in that sense, Irving, who got involved, removed the hard cap as a possible obstacle. It is now easier to trade than it would be as a free agent.

But reports of Irving’s decision to join suggest he has no plans to get the Nets to relocate him. “Irving bypasses a number of selection and trading scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant,” Shams Charania of Athletic tweeted when he announced the news of Irving’s decision. This is not exactly what we are saying, “we are trying to make trade easier.”

Could this be a bluff to try to encourage potential trading partners to surrender more to Irving? I guess it’s possible, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said only the Lakers were interested in Irving. The Clippers seem to have filled their hole in the guard point with John Wall. New York is preparing to run against Jalen Brunson, and Dallas is focused on keeping him. Philadelphia has largely spent the off-season trying to make room under the apron to launch an offer for mid-level PJ Tucker taxpayers. No one is quite sure what Miami is doing, but its militaristic culture doesn’t seem perfect for freedom-loving Irving.

Maybe the Nets are trying to squeeze the Lakers for their meager assets, but they just can’t put that much on the table. In terms of assets, they have a choice from the first round in 2027 and 2029 to distribute as well as exchange rights in 2026 and 2028. Austin Reeves is the only young player on their roster of great value, although Talen Horton-Tucker probably still has a few supporters in the league. Maybe if the Lakers offer everything, they could still sneak into the procedure, but there is another big hurdle they have to overcome here.

Assuming that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are off the table, Russell Westbrook will have to participate in the deal as a corresponding salary. There are a number of reasons why Brooklyn may not be interested in Westbrook, including, but not limited to, his story with Kevin Durant, how his poor shooting will affect Ben Simmons and his overall decline as a viable NBA player. It would therefore be an obligation for the Lakers to find a tripartite deal that does not include a Westbrook landing in Brooklyn. If there was a way to trade with Westbrook without transferring significant assets, don’t you think they would already?

So, if we exclude other unforeseen developments (and with the Nets, they can never be ruled out), Irving should be expected to start next season in Brooklyn. Maybe another incident pushes the Nets over the edge and forces them to exchange in the middle of the season. Maybe a new and unexpected suitor appears with an offer that the Nets can’t refuse. Maybe Mercury is becoming retrograde and ruining everything. But even with a technically possible deal with Irving, all indications are that the mysterious debater will stay at the Nets next season and test the market as a free agent in 2023.

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