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Another report Nets now plan to keep Kyrie Irving this season

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson discuss Kevin Durant's legacy post-Warriors after a reported ultimatum was given during a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai, a "negotiation tactic" that may not have worked as intended.

Lakers fans, I hope you like the idea of Russell Westbrook on your team for another year.

Kyrie Irving doesn’t appear headed to the Lakers or anyone else. Echoing previous reports, Shams Charania at the Athletic said that Irving is committed to the Nets and they plan to keep him around.

All-Star Kyrie Irving also opted into his $37 million player option, committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working out with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star, according to sources.

It’s not that Irving playing for the Nets is locked in stone or even anybody’s first choice, it’s just nobody has a better option.

Brooklyn would trade Irving tomorrow if some team blew them away with an offer. The problem is that the Lakers were the only team seriously chasing Irving, and their offer — two first-round picks plus Russell Westbrook — did not move the Nets (and would have to involve a third team taking on Westbrook that team will want picks or good young players). Irving reportedly was willing and maybe eager to play for the Lakers, but see the previous sentence for that not happening. Irving didn’t have a better option. The Nets don’t have a better option.

The best path for both teams is for Irving to return to Brooklyn, show a commitment to the team, and play at the level everyone knows he is capable of. The Nets win games while seeing what they have in Ben Simmons (and if Kevin Durant returns... let’s not go down that road yet). Irving raises his value around the league as he becomes a free agent.

Maybe things change during training camp or getting closer to the February trade deadline, but right now it appears Irving will be a Net this season.