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#pounditSaturday, March 25, 2023

Kyrie Irving reportedly ready to leave Nets for 1 team

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There is no reason to believe Kyrie Irving has any plans to stick around in Brooklyn after the Nets trade Kevin Durant, and seems to be eyeing one possible destination.

In an appearance on “SportsCenter” Thursday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Irving is already focused on leaving the Nets hours after Durant’s trade demand was made public. Windhorst added that Irving is once again focused on trying to move to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Kyrie Irving is out of town as fast as he possibly can. He is focused on forcing himself to the LA Lakers,” Windhorst said. “Talking with executives over the last couple hours, the value of Kyrie Irving in a trade has absolutely plummeted. They know that he’s going to be a pure rental if he doesn’t want to go to the situation he’s been going to. It’s unclear what he’ll do.”

Irving’s options are limited, and the timing of Durant’s trade demand did not do the guard many favors. He had already opted into his contract for 2022-23 after fueling speculation about his future. That leaves him with few options. Between his history of flaking on teams and his contract status, few organizations will want to give up much for him.

Even after Irving had opted in, there was talk about a potential trade still being on the table. There is no doubt he will want out, but he has little leverage now.

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