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Inside Pass: Nets, Keri Irving in Dead End; The latest in Miles Bridges; NBA Draft Notes

With the three-day NBA draft approaching and free agency around the corner, trade talks, signings and chases for all 30 teams began in earnest. Across the league, major free agents — and potential free agents — are being watched: Chicago’s Zach Lavigne, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Philadelphia’s James Harden, Phoenix’s Dunder Eaton, Dallas’s Jalen Bronson, Portland’s Inverney Simmons and more. .

But one of the most anticipated free-agency situations concerns Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn, who has a June 29 deadline on his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season. However, multiple sources say the athlete Talks about Irving’s future have become stagnant between him and the Nets. Those sources said that an impasse currently exists between the parties is paving the way for all seven stars to consider the open market.

Irving joined the Nets alongside Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019, although Durant missed their first season together as he recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Irving made the All-Star Team in 2020-21 and helped lead the franchise to the Eastern Conference semi-finals alongside Durant and James Harden before injuring an ankle in the series against the Bucks. After last season, in which he made just 29 appearances and missed most of the season’s home games due to his decision not to comply with New York City state vaccinations, Irving has made it clear that he intends to return to the net in the summer and continue. To build with Durant and newcomer Ben Simmons. He averaged 27.2 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game and made 40.4 percent of his 3-point attempts in three seasons with Brooklyn, but appeared in 103 of 216 regular season games.

“I’m not planning to go anywhere,” Irving said on April 25 after the Nets’ end-of-season win against the Celtics in the first round of the Eastern playoffs.

Nearly two months later, it appears both sides have serious work to do in order to find a solution that brings Irving back to Brooklyn and his Durant co-star, contracted to the Nets until 2025-26. Several teams in the league have kept a close eye on the situation, questioning the future of Irving and Brooklyn.

The Lakers, Knicks and Clippers are expected to be among the interested suitors if Irving heads elsewhere, multiple sources report. the athlete.

For the Lakers, the likely path to acquire Irving would be to choose him to facilitate the trade, because the Lakers cannot realistically free up ceiling space to sign on themselves, and signing and trading would cap off, making the Irving acquisition much more difficult. If Irving agrees to join, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka would have to meet the salary matching rules of the collective bargaining agreement, meaning that if Irving $36.6 million was the only incoming salary, he could send the Lakers $29.3 million to $45.8 million to the Nets and/or a third party in a legal transaction.

For Knicks, Irving’s likely acquisition path depends on what the Nets prioritize. New York even has a salary cap for 2022-23 so it can make enough room to sign Irving on the contract cap by offloading salaries like Evan Fournier, Alec Burkes, Nerlence Noel and Kemba Walker. But the Knicks could also offer some or all of those players to the Nets or a third team in a potential signing and trading process.

For the Clippers, the potential path to acquire Irving would require him to sign up, as they significantly cross both the luxury tax streak and the 2022-23 hardcover. To meet the salary match, the Clippers will need to send between $29.3 million and $45.8 million to the Nets and/or a third team if Irving is the only salary heading their way. The Clippers scenario is less complicated than the Lakers, with the Clippers having a string of players earning $11 million to $17 million working with them. For example, two or three Norman Powells, Marcus Morris, Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson are out in line with the Basel trade rules, and they also have a handful of young players like Terrance Man or Brandon Boston who can help improve the deal.

Irving’s potential departure would be incredibly detrimental to Networks due to their limited ability to replace him and his salary slot should Irving sign elsewhere as a free agent. The most likely course of any departure would be via signature and trade. Brooklyn owes $111 million to six players in 2022-23, Irving doesn’t include it, so filling the list with minimum salaries would put net salaries above the expected $122 million salary cap for next season. If it were Irving Bolts, Brooklyn’s strongest route to adding talent would be the complete exception of $10.3 million. Irving is also eligible for a new deal by exercising his player option and extending his contract from there, which could give him a starting salary of $45.2 million for 2023-24.

For the Nets, the fate of Irving’s free agency is one to watch as the NBA draft and free agency approach.

More NBA news and notes

Atlanta Hawks

His agent, Wallace Brother, says the Hawks’ free agent guard, Lou Williams, intends to continue his football career. “(Williams) is not seeking retirement, and I will be proactive in speaking to teams during free agency,” Brother said. Williams, the 17-year-old veteran, averaged 6.3 points and 14.3 minutes per game over 56 games last season.

Charlotte Hornets

Rival executives expect Hornets’ restricted free agent Miles Bridges to request a maximum – or close to – cap deal in July, and sources said there is reluctance from Charlotte to match a maximum sheet. Bridges had a breakthrough season in 2021-22, averaging 20.2 points, seven rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. In a league that has seen wingers like Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins, Boston’s Jason Tatum and Jaylene Brown have game-changing influences on the run to the NBA Finals, Bridges’ two-way ability on the wing has become incredibly valuable toward winning.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Banned Cavaliers agent Colin Sexton has been cleared of full basketball activities, sources said. Sexton underwent surgery in November to repair a meniscus tear and made a full recovery on the eve of entering free agency. Competing executives believe Sexton’s market could reach the $20 million per year range.

Indiana Pacers

Sources said Pacers are seriously discussing trades centered on Malcolm Brugdon and Miles Turner. Sources said the Wizards and Knicks are interested in Brogdon, who are armed with Numbers 10 and 11 respectively. Those sources said Hornets had expressed interest in Turner. However, Indiana, who took the #6 pick in the draft, could choose to continue retooling its veteran core rather than completely rebuilding around the young players.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Sources said Timberwolves have discussed deals around the veteran positions, including Clint Capella in Atlanta.

Sacramento Kings

Sources said the Kings became more comfortable drafting in fourth place in Thursday’s draft and described the heavy price tag for teams behind them in the lottery trying to trade in. Sacramento general manager Monty McNair has been involved in talks about Hawks striker John Collins – among a slew of other players produced in the market – but there has been no involvement for No. 4 pick in the discussions centered on Collins, and McNair will ultimately make the decision on the choice. , according to the sources.

Utah Jazz

Sources said the jazz band is scheduling a second interview with nearly all 15 trained candidates as the next step in the process.

The top 15 nominees are: Knicks assistant Jonny Bryant. current assistant Alex Jensen; The current assistant to Lamar Skeeter. Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin; Will Hardy, Celtics assistant; Bucks assistant Charles Lee; heat assistant Chris Quinn; Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney; Celtics assistant Joe Mazola; assistant pistons Jerome Allen; 76ers assistant Sam Cassel; Sun’s assistant Kevin Young. Jason Terry, Technical Director of the J. former Lakers coach Frank Vogel; and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts.

Draft Notes

• Jabari Smith of Auburn, who worked and met Magic Witch (No. 1) and Thunder (No. 2) during the pre-crafting process, is a default lock to move into the first two places in the draft. He is still the favorite to take first place.

• Shaydon Sharp of Kentucky is the mystery man in the NBA draft. Sharpe is a highly anticipated lottery pick, and sources say he’s done vigorous team drills like three-on-three and four-on-four scrimmages to show his ability to teams that haven’t seen him play organized basketball for the past year or two. Instead of doing individual drills, Sharpe sought to compete, working in teams between draft ranges for numbers 1 through 13.

• G League Ignite’s Michael Foster will end up working for 15 teams, with his 6-foot-9 build and next-level expected versatility making him a candidate to be a sleepwalker. In 13 games last season, Foster averaged 14.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

(Photo: Winslow Townson/USA Today)

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