Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 and appear set to remain with the franchise this offseason, albeit with less control than they had previously after Irving was unable to secure a long-term, guaranteed deal.
Irving threatened to leave the Nets if they didn't sign him long-term, but he ultimately decided to opt-in to his $36.5 million contract. Durant appears to have tried to facilitate Irving's leverage by "mulling" his future with the Nets.
"I think Kevin Durant was very loyal to Kyrie Irving through this process," said Adrian Wojnarowski. "Certainly, he wanted to create the idea that if Kyrie Irving walked, Kevin Durant might ask for a trade. In the end, the leveraging on Irving's side just didn't allow for him to get the kind of new deal he wanted.
"Now, Kevin Durant has what he did want: Kyrie Irving back on the Nets for this season. The expectation right now is that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will move forward for the Nets on this roster this year. But Kevin Durant hasn't talked yet. He hasn't expressed that publicly. This is the outcome he wanted: Irving back on the Nets."
The Nets appeared to reach a point with Irving where they preferred the scenario of trading away Durant rather than commit long-term to Irving.