Rival teams are "rooting" for Kyrie Irving to opt-out of his $36 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets and leave for nothing as a free agent in hopes Kevin Durant would then become available via trade, according to reporting from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension with the Nets during the 2021 offseason and expected Irving and James Harden to follow him in signing extensions soon thereafter. Irving declined to get vaccinated to comply with the local ordinances and Harden then reconsidered his future with the Nets.

While Durant could request a trade from the Nets should Irving leave the franchise, he has very little leverage in determining his destination.

"This would be a small-market team's dream, robbing a goliath of an MVP-level talent whose contractual circumstances would leave him little choice but to play for them," writes Wojnarowski.