Celtics

Celtics

It appears the Brooklyn Nets' master plan is in motion.

The Nets swung an otherwise unremarkable trade with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday that made headlines because it cleared their path to take on two maximum contracts in free agency.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski then reported Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving is "serious" about signing with the Nets this summer -- and that Brooklyn's feeling is mutual.

But the Nets don't want to stop with just Irving. Here's NBA reporter Brian Windhorst on Friday's midday edition of "SportsCenter:"

"They are making this (trade) to attract Kyrie Irving, and hoping Kyrie will then turn and recruit his new best friend -- a relationship that has blossomed during this year and the whole league has watched it -- Kevin Durant."

Irving and Durant indeed are close friends, as anyone who saw the two superstars yukking it up at NBA All-Star Weekend can attest. And if you believe NFL wide receiver-turned-FOX Sports hot take artist Cris Carter, Irving's recruitment of the Golden State Warriors forward may have already begun.

There are plenty of other balls in the air, of course. Durant even leaving Golden State could hinge on whether the Warriors can rally to win the NBA title, and reports suggest he'd favor the New York Knicks if he were to leave the Bay Area.

 

Irving's future also is uncertain; the Nets appear to have emerged as the frontrunner, but the All-Star guard reported has the Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers on his radar and perhaps would be convinced to stay in Boston if the Celtics trade for Anthony Davis.

But the appeal of playing with your buddies looms large in today's NBA, and Brooklyn apparently is trying to leverage that appeal into creating a Kyrie-KD superteam.

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