Marc Stein of The New York Times and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN discussed that on Smith’s podcast.
Right before the playoffs started, someone I trust very much told me, they might be a package deal, but they’re going to look at the Nets just as hard as the Knicks. But again, this is third-, fourth-hand stuff.
I heard that about Kyrie, not about KD. That Kyrie and his folks – his folks are trying to convince him to look heavily at the Nets.
This is why tracking free agency is difficult. Everyone within a player’s camp doesn’t always unanimously agree on what’s best. Differing agendas get leaked by different people.
But it’s not difficult to view this situation as:
Irving would sign with the Knicks if Durant joins him.
If Durant stays in Golden State, Irving would consider other options, including Brooklyn.
Strong seasons from D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie (who signed a contract extension) reduce Brooklyn’s need for a point guard. But Irving would be a clear upgrade. The Nets are surely hoping Irving listens to the advisors Smith cited.
Still, luring Irving won’t be easy.
Brooklyn is better than New York. Unless the Knicks get Durant, Brooklyn is also better-positioned long-term than New York.
But the Nets aren’t the Knicks.
Prestige matters, and that’s an obstacle Brooklyn must overcome.