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#pounditMonday, December 5, 2022

Report: Nets have big fear about Kevin Durant

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets seem to be at a crossroads regarding their future.

Kyrie Irving has a $36.5 million player option for next season. The sides need to figure out whether Irving will pick up his option or whether the sides will agree to a new deal. There is talk they could end up in a split.

But the Nets have a big fear about what an Irving exit could mean.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are worried that if Irving doesn’t return to the team, Kevin Durant could want out. Other teams around the NBA supposedly are even cheering for Kyrie to leave so that Durant ends up on the trade block.

This is a tough spot for the Nets, but it’s of their own doing. They knew when they signed Durant prior to the 2019-2020 season that they were reluctantly getting Irving in a package deal. Irving is flaky, unmotivated, injury-prone and bad for team chemistry. But the choices for Brooklyn at this point are to bring Irving back so they can retain Durant, or blow up the whole thing.

The Nets went 48-24 and lost to the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals two seasons ago. They could be optimistic and hope that if they retain their core, they could have another season of similar success in 2022-2023.

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