It's been a nonstop barrage of Kyrie Irving trade rumors, with it getting clearer by the day that he's headed for a breakup with the Brooklyn Nets. Can they suddenly come together and work out a deal? Yes. Money goes a long way in situations like this, just ask Aaron Rodgers.
The difference here is that the Nets seem very unlikely to come close to the type of deal Irving is looking for, going so far as to have the mindset that they're prepared to have both Kevin Durant and Irving leave. Apparently they'd rather go through that "than go through what they went through last season" according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
With that being the case, the next obvious question becomes -- where does Kyrie land?
From an odds perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers are the current favorites (if not the Nets) at +150, and reportedly are the only team that's shown initial interest since this news started to gain steam.
That can obviously change, especially with an avenue for the Lakers to acquire Irving not being very clear, given their huge cap already and limited assets to send back to Brooklyn.
The L.A. Clippers are next at +200, which could add a lethal scoring threat to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but they too are limited with a ton of picks either swapped or given to the Thunder from the George trade, while also having the second-highest payroll currently heading into next season.
Well, what about the Heat at +400? Sure, they could use the scoring, but it's laughable to think of Kyrie actually getting held accountable by Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra. No seriously, it's hilarious and I desperately want to see this match happen, even though it never would.
Well, the Knicks are +400 as well and...oops, sorry, they're too busy chasing Jalen Brunson so they likely don't even know this is going on, which is probably a good thing.
The rest of the teams coming in start with the Bulls at +800, Pelicans +1000, Nuggets +1400, Mavericks +2000, Bucks +2500 and the Spurs at +3000. You could see how at least from a trade perspective a team like New Orleans would work, with plenty of picks and young talent to send back, but why would they want to disrupt last year's progress with a mess like this? That's just actively sabotaging a promising foundation for no reason.
It could be that another team comes out of nowhere. Remember, the Celtics weren't seen as a team in the running when he wanted out of Cleveland, just like the Raptors were a surprise when Kawhi Leonard wanted to leave San Antonio.
Kyrie is about as unpredictable a person as there is, and this situation has the potential to be a long, dragged-out saga, not only ruining the Nets' season, but hurting the image of Irving even more. Having all the talent in the world only gets you so far. If teams don't have enough confidence in you as a dependable part of the team, it's a lot harder to justify aggressively pursuing anything.
His best option is just staying where he is and proving he can again be someone worthy of a title-contending plan, but it sure doesn't feel like it's headed anywhere near that result in Brooklyn.