Kyrie Irving will grant Nets sit-down meeting in free agency, predicts Jared Dudley

Alex Reimer
May 01, 2019 - 11:28 am

Kyrie Irving has been linked to the Knicks for months, due to their abundance of cap space and his apparent interest in playing in the Big Apple. But Irving will likely entertain more landing options than the Knicks once free agency begins, and in that scenario, one has to imagine New York’s other team, the Nets, could factor into his plans.

At least, that’s what former Boston College standout Jared Dudley told the New York Times this week. The veteran forward, whose trash-talking of Ben Simmons in the first round propelled him to average 19.3 points on 68.1% shooting over the ensuing four games (all Philadelphia wins), guaranteed Brooklyn will at least get a chance to makes its pitch to Irving in person.

“I’m not here just to toot Brooklyn’s horn. I’ve sold Brooklyn to other players just because you’d want the same thing,” Dudley told the NYT’s Marc Stein. “Players want to know the good organizations from the bad. I would be shocked if the Nets don’t get a sit-down (with Irving).”

From a basketball standpoint, the Nets are much more enticing than the moribund Knicks. They secured the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season behind breakout performances from D’Angelo Russell and an array of youngsters. After years of futility, the Nets are on the rise.

But few would know in New York. The Nets drew the lowest TV ratings in the league this season, which could alienate Irving. The Knicks, despite all of their dysfunction, remain a sexier draw –– especially if they could land Kevin Durant as well.

Given the appeal of playing with Durant in New York, the LeBron factor, and the fact the Celtics can offer Irving $80 million more than anybody else, Brooklyn seems to be a long shot here. But according to Dudley, they will be in the mix, and when have his words ever been wrong?