Any hope of Kyrie Irving returning to the Boston Celtics went out the window on Saturday afternoon when it was announced that Kemba Walker would agree to a four-year deal with the team when free agency began on Sunday. This cleared the path for Irving to join the Brooklyn Nets, a move that has been rumored for weeks.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, we can expect to see Irving make the jump to Brooklyn soon after the clock hits 6 p.m. on Sunday. Woj reports that the two sides are motivated to come to terms on a four-year deal that will give Irving a hefty $141 million, the same deal that Boston will give Walker.
It makes all the sense in the world. Irving gets a fresh start after things crashed and burned in Boston, while the Nets get one of the biggest fishes on the market in the All-Star guard. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, however, there is a chance that this move could end up hurting them in their pursuit of another big name free agent, Kevin Durant.
And of course, there is one major question that still looms over Brooklyn: What, exactly, will happen with restricted free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, who blossomed as a Net and led the team to the postseason last year? Well according to Woj, this clears the path for Brooklyn to renounce Russell and let him become an unrestricted free agent.
There is, however, an alternate pathway for Russell, one that involves a potential sign-and-trade.
We’ll have to wait for all the dust to settle to know exactly what the Nets will look like next year, because there are still a whole lot of balls up in the air. But for now, it appears safe to say that Kyrie Irving will suit up for Brooklyn when next season tips off.