As free agency opens and rumors do the rounds, the Nets still have no clarity on their stars


As free agency opens and rumors do the rounds, the Nets still have no clarity on their stars

With free agency beginning (Thursday at 6 p.m. ET), the networks’ situation remains uncertain. While Kyrie Irving has decided to sign on, numerous pundits are suggesting he may still have relocated and still not heard from Kevin Durant … at least about his future in Brooklyn.

As Brian Windhorst said on Wednesday…

“When Kyrie announced he was signing on, I was like, ‘Okay, we can move on. That won’t work,” said Windhorst. “But my phone didn’t tell me that. The managers didn’t tell me that. The agents didn’t tell me that. They say it’s not over because the networks have made it clear to everyone that they don’t want the status quo. If nothing else changed, they would not be happy. They weren’t sure if that would satisfy that situation.”

He went as far as to say he wouldn’t be surprised if the Nets ultimately considered a trade centered on an Irving-for-Russell Westbrook swap on draft compensation. Meanwhile, Frank Isola said Thursday morning on ESPN radio that he wouldn’t rule out a trade with Kevin Durant. Things are so restless.

While rumors have circulated that the Nets are interested in several free agents, there will be players like Isaiah Hartenstein, Otto Porter Jr. and DeAndre Ayton among others, but in any case there is competition and certain difficulties in getting things done.

Their own free agent situation is a little less cloudy with news that Nic Claxton is likely back (unless he’s a trade piece) and Patty Mills has opted out of his player option but hasn’t ruled out a return to Brooklyn. As for Bruce Brown, little information is available about his free hand other than that he was reportedly at the Vera Institute of Justice gala honoring Clara Wu Tsai on Wednesday night. Those are the things we’re looking for.

A couple of things seem likely: Blake Griffin is likely gone and reportedly prefers one of the two LA teams, according to Marc Stein. As for Goran Dragic, a Slovenian reunion seems on the cards for Dragic and Luka Doncic in Dallas. Not a word about LaMarcus Aldridge. Andre Drummond, KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, reports that he’s on the Bulls’ and other clubs’ radar:

The Bulls are one of many teams expected to join the market for veteran center Andre Drummond. If this marriage should take place, expect the minimum salary of a veteran.

Of the free agent names most associated with the Nets, Otto Porter Jr. won’t be returning to Golden State, according to various reports, but there will be plenty of competition for the 29-year-old small forward, including from the Heat. Isaiah Hartenstein is being pursued by the Bulls and the Knicks, Jake Fischer tweeted. And unlikely as it seems, he might be willing to take less money to stay in LA. Nic Batum is reportedly set to sign a three-year, $30 million deal to stay with the Clippers.

The Nets have also been identified as one of three teams interested in Javale McGee, the perennial free agent – and three-time NBA champion.

KD and McGee were teammates with the Warriors and Team USA.

Add Jazz small forward Royce O’Neal to the list of teams the Nets could potentially trade for, Fischer says, adding that the Hawks and Raptors could potentially be, too.

Yes, there are rumors that Joe Harris was dangling as well as Cam Thomas. But as of 9:00 a.m. ET, nothing has happened…yet. Keep checking back.

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