If Kyrie Irving leaves, what happens to the Nets?

Tue, Jun 21, 2022
NBA News (AP)

If Kyrie Irving leaves, what happens to the Nets?
Just after the Brooklyn Nets were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, Kyrie Irving spoke glowingly about his excitement heading into the offseason and his role in helping right Brooklyn's ship.

But less than two months later, Irving and the Nets have reportedly reached an "impasse" regarding his future with the squad. It's a complete turnaround from a union that appeared blissful in April.

If Irving indeed leaves, he'll put the Nets in no man's land according to Skip Bayless.

Skip Bayless breaks down whether the Lakers would realistically be able to acquire Kyrie or not.

"Aren't [the Nets] stuck with Kyrie?" Bayless asked Tuesday on "Undisputed." "Don't they have to figure out how to keep him? Aren't they going to get pushed up against the wall by Kyrie and agent to the point that they have no choice but to give him what he asks for, which is the five-year, $250 million max?

"How can they afford not to have Kyrie? Your alternative is they say 'OK, I'll just see you later.' It's obvious to me that all the way up to the top, they were so down on Kyrie. This is fantasy-land, this is pie-in-the-sky. It ain't happening."

Though Bayless didn't believe Irving would venture elsewhere, he described the possibility as another nick in Irving's career resume.

"What's happened to him?" he asked. "He was with LeBron [James] and they won a championship, and it completely flamed out thanks to him.

"Then he goes to Boston because 'I want out, I want my own show' and what happened? It was the all-time flame out. You can't tell me the Celtics weren't better without him. What has he really done, except refuse to get vaccinated? So the Nets dismissed him, until they lost 12 straight games, and said 'I guess we've got to crawl back.' What if he just says 'I'm out of here, I'm an unrestricted free agent, and I'm hitting the open market?'

" ... Kyrie's value on the open market to me is all-time low. I don't think he prioritizes winning basketball games. If you're going to pay him an average of $50 million a year, it's to win a championship, and if that's about fourth on his list of life priorities, then good luck to you."

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