Do Kevin Durant's comments take one possible Kyrie Irving pursuer off the board?
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks paid a hefty price to acquire Kyrie Irving in February. It cost them their best perimeter defender, a starting guard, a 2029 first-round draft pick, and two second-rounders. That is a hefty price to pay for a soon-to-be free agent that was ending a tumultuous four-year tenure in Brooklyn. Irving is one of the most talented players in the league, but things certainly did not go as planned with the Nets or after the trade.
Dallas won just seven of their final 25 games to crash from fourth to 11th in the Western Conference. They missed the playoffs entirely and even tanked their final two games to have the tenth-worst record and a 79.8 percent shot at keeping their draft pick. The horrendous close to the season has many wondering if Kyrie has already played his final game with the Mavs.
The Suns are one of the teams that many have linked to Kyrie after the eight-time All-Star joined forces with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. Phoenix could be looking to get a bit younger and keep their window of contention open a bit longer by swapping out Chris Paul for Irving, but KD’s latest comments threw a bit of cold water on that.
Kevin Durant on his current relationship with Kyrie Irving
KD and Kyrie were clearly close. They decided to both join the Nets in free agency in 2019. Their partnership did not always go as planned, but it appeared the two remained tight throughout. The trade requests out of Brooklyn may have changed things. The two reportedly hadn’t talked ahead of their matchup on March 5, and it appeared icy on the court between the two.
The Ringer’s Logan Murdock wrote a fantastic piece on Kevin Durant where he was asked about his current relationship with the soon-to-be free agent, and he answered with this.
"That’s something I’m going to keep internal. I don’t want to expose our relationship,” Durant says. “I think that’s deeper than basketball, but I wouldn’t say it was a problem. I didn’t think it was a problem."
It does not sound like the two are on the best of terms, and maybe even KD does not where they stand. Durant and Irving share a long-time bond and both wanted it to work in Brooklyn. It did not, and now the two appear not to be speaking. Both are incredible talents, but would the Suns try to land Irving and risk alienating KD? I think not.
Kyrie Irving figures to have multiple suitors in free agency. The Lakers, Clippers, and Suns reportedly made offers before he was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets want to take a step forward next season and have cap space. Teams will want Irving, and the Mavs cannot afford to lose him. What does that mean when he hits the open market?
The Dallas Mavericks want Kyrie Irving back, but they wanted Jalen Brunson too. Where will the eight-time All-Star play next season? Stay tuned for all the latest.