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Report: Kyrie Irving wants to sign a long-term deal with the Nets, who have yet to convey a similar desire

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When Kyrie Irving was deemed too toxic to even be with his team in early November, his market value was in the tank. the Lakers It was easier to dump Brooklyn’s Russell Westbrook than to dump Irving. Dude was radioactive. No one will approach him. Even the backup plan to sign the Lakers as a free agent this summer was deemed dead.

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But a funny thing has happened since then. Irving didn’t do or say anything stupid, and instead decided to remind everyone of his amazing talent. He averages 26-5-5 in 48/37/90 shooting splits. He is the league’s leading scorer in the fourth quarter. Entering play on Wednesday, he’s riding a three-game streak of scoring at least 30 points, five assists and five rebounds, his first career.

It begs the question: How much market value did Irving return? It may be networkswho were supposed to be ready to play this season with Irving and then wash their hands of him by letting him walk away as a free agent, to be ready to sign up for another long-term contract with the guy?

According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher ReportIrving wants to stay with the Nets, who, up to this point, have not expressed a similar desire. In fact, the Nets didn’t transfer much of anything, according to Irving’s agent, who sent the following letter to Haynes.

“About Kyrie staying with the Nets? I’ve reached out to the Nets about this,” his agent, Shelia Irving, told Bleacher Report. “We haven’t had significant conversations yet. The desire is to get Brooklyn home, with the right kind of stretch, which means the ball is in the Nets’ court to connect now if their desire is the same.”

Oh man, this is going to be a suspicious call. Irving is like a kid who’s been on his best behavior long enough to make you think he’s learned his lesson, even changed. Don’t think for a moment that the Nets, and every other team that might be interested, don’t consider the possibility of Irving returning to his radiant ways the moment he strikes a long-term deal. His threat to blow up your season is always right around the corner.

However, the guy plays great. So are networks. Without a tag and a trade, Brooklyn’s options are to give him a long-term deal or lose him for nothing. The latter would be a bitter pill to swallow for friend and fellow star Kevin Durant, who is under contract with Brooklyn until 2026 and is a possibility to reissue his commercial once Irving is gone.

Again, this speaks to Irving’s value recovery. He has some leverage now. Haynes says there will be “huge interest” in him across the league. There was a time when there was such damaged merchandise that it wasn’t unreasonable for the Lakers or Nets or anyone else to get it at a massive discount. This does not happen if he continues to play and act like this.

If the Nets re-sign Irving, their payroll would go through the roof. They’d be on repeat tax with Durant, Ben Simmons, and Irving at or near the max deals. But what choice do they have? They have no room for a salary cap to replace it and no first round option to trade until 2029. Signaling and trading will cap them. Durant probably won’t be sticking to a half-hearted rebuild.

There are no easy answers for the Nets, who may simply have to give Irving his money and quietly return to their corner to continue praying for survival on good behaviour.

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