Kyrie Irving could stay with the Brooklyn Nets, according to recent reports. Although many believe otherwise, analyst Skip Bayless believes Irving might have an outstanding season in Brooklyn if he stays.
The feeling around the league was that Irving would join the LA Lakers before next season. However, the Lakers might have to pursue a successful season without the All-Star guard.
Reactions have been flying as some believe the Nets are using the possibility of Irving remaining in Brooklyn as a ploy to increase his trade value.
On “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” Bayless said a lot is still riding on Kevin Durant‘s eventual destination:
“I was under the impression that Kyrie badly wanted to reunite with LeBron. So, this flies in the face of that.”
After reading out the quote stipulating that Irving was willing to stay with the Nets with or without Durant, Bayless said:
“He is still supremely gifted, and I believe he’s right smack dab in the middle of his prime right here, right now. He’s got two or three more years in what I would call his prime before he starts to age a little bit and fade a little. So, he is an extremely, supremely valuable commodity, except for all the off-court issues.
“And the problem is, is the passion, is the priority of, ‘Is basketball really that important?’ … So, do I believe that the Brooklyn Nets are sick and tired of Kyrie enough that they have already like made an internal pact, ‘We are going to get rid of him? We ultimately will hold out for the best deal and whatever the best deal is, we are going to move Kyrie.’
“I don’t believe that at this point. The nuclear weapon is Kevin. I would hold Kevin’s feet to the fire. I don’t believe Kevin would sit out a year if you just said, ‘Hey, we got a four-year deal with you. You’re gonna play here.’ If he plays and is forced to stay in Brooklyn and finally just gives up and gives in and says, ‘OK, I’ll play.’
“So, if he’s a Net next year, then I believe Kyrie would be all in being a Net. The X-factor here that nobody has written about – neither party has talked about – is, I think the bridge got burned between Kevin and Kyrie.
“And I believe it happened earlier this year when Kevin sided with management about sending Kyrie home because he wouldn’t get vaccinated.”
Bayless pointed out that Brooklyn’s superstars reacted differently to Irving refusing to get vaccinated. While Harden opted to leave, KD is handling things differently.
“Kevin’s response was, ‘Get him the hell out of here. I don’t even want to see his face anymore. We’ll muddle through and try to figure it out.’ And it wasn’t until late in the year that everybody sold it and crumbled and crawled back to Kyrie.”
Irving has always been vocal about wanting to continue playing with Durant. But even if he stays with the Nets, he might be there without KD.
Fans are still hopeful for a LeBron James-Kyrie Irving reunion
LA Lakers fans have been clamoring for a LeBron James-Kyrie Irving reunion since reports first linked Irving to the team. Even with news of Irving reportedly wanting to stay with the Nets, fans are still hopeful the Lakers will seal the deal.
James and Irving had an incredible run when they partnered with the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the 2016 championship. If they recreate that magic, the Lakers should be one of the title favorites.
It has been reported that the Lakers are not willing to give away the draft picks the Nets are requesting. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said James does not care about the picks and is only interested in winning now.
Irving and the Nets have had a rollercoaster few weeks. But even as Irving is reportedly interested in staying, the decision could be out of his hands.