Insane money in Durant NBA stunner
Kyrie Irving will be joining Kevin Durant in New York. Just not the borough everyone expected.
Irving and Brooklyn had been linked for quite some time, and just before NBA free agency opened Sunday, ESPN reported the two sides will agree to a four-year deal worth $141 million.
Everything the Nets have done up to this point has been about landing two max free agents this summer. Now they've got both Irving and Durant, who is also planning on signing with Brooklyn on a four-year, $164 million contract, according to multiple reports.
DeAndre Jordan, a Durant confidant, is also reportedly heading to the Nets. Durant and Irving for months were rumoured to be Knicks-bound.
Irving, the West Orange, N.J. native, joins a Nets team which made big strides last season, going 42-40 and making the playoffs. Durant will likely miss all of next season while recovering from an Achilles rupture.
Durant will be 32 when he returns from his injury.
He will also pocket a monster $465,742 dollars per game next season, just to warm the bench.
Brooklyn is making a clean sweep tonight: Brooklyn will sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Irving's arrival means the Nets will say goodbye to D'Angelo Russell, who led the franchise to its first post-season appearance since 2015.
The 23-year-old Russell is currently a restricted free agent, and is expected to land with the Lakers or Timberwolves.
Irving, 27, is a six-time All-Star and won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015-16.
He spent the last two seasons with the Boston Celtics.
Last season, Irving averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists and five rebounds per game. All deals won't become official until the new league year begins July 6.
The series of deals means the nightmare is happening all over again for the Knicks and their owner James Dolan.
The high-profile franchise traded its biggest star in Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas in order to create the cap space to sign Durant.
$465,742: What Kevin Durant will make PER GAME this upcoming season if Nets clear out enough room to give him the max. He is, of course, not expected to play. pic.twitter.com/Zczbx57eHG— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 30, 2019
Porzingis is expected to sign a long-term deal with the Mavericks, and the Knicks are expected to be a laughing stock all over again.
Porzingis was traded in late January in a deal that opened two max slots for Durant and Irving, but the Nets did their own manoeuvring and opened up the same amount of cap space to outdo the Knicks again.
Irving's leap to the Nets was expected for weeks, but Durant's decision was a slap in the face after many months of inaccurate reports elsewhere stating it was "done deal" with the Knicks.
Dolan said big things would happen back in February. He was wrong.
"Look, New York is the mecca of basketball. We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come," Dolan said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN radio back in February.
"We can't respond because of the NBA rules, etc. But that doesn't stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we've heard, I think we're gonna have a very successful off-season when it comes to free agents.
The Nets have the league's worst attendance but apparently the KD-Kyrie duo want a chance to build the Brooklyn brand.
The Knicks have several alternative plans to fill their max space but none of it will bring the Knicks into being a legitimate club next season after missing the playoffs for six straight seasons.
Even point guard Terry Rozier is believed to have Charlotte as his top choice. The Knicks had interest in Rozier, but he's expected to sign a three-year, $58 million deal with the Hornets after a sign-and-trade, according to The Athletic.
President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry has said all along the new vibe is star players want to be here but have struck out on KD, Irving and Kemba Walker. They still hope to meet with Kawhi Leonard.
However, that seems to be a long-shot at best with reports on Monday claiming Leonard's signature is the Lakers to lose.