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Brooklyn Nets left out of NBA Christmas schedule

Alder Almo - Philstar.com
Brooklyn Nets left out of NBA Christmas schedule
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets look on in the final seconds of their 109-103 loss against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 23, 2022 in New York City.
Al Bello / Getty Images / AFP

NEW YORK – Amid the uncertainty of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s future, the Brooklyn Nets were left out of the NBA Christmas schedule. 

In no particular order, the five-game schedule on Christmas Day (December 26, Manila time), according to The Athletic, are:

  • Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
  • Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
  • Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors 

Last June, Durant requested a trade to get out of Brooklyn, citing a lack of faith in the franchise's direction after the Nets and Irving could not agree to a contract extension. 

Irving opted into the final year of his original four-year deal he signed in the summer of 2019 when he and Durant came to Brooklyn. 

Three years later, the superstar duo never met the championship expectation as their time in Brooklyn is coming to an ugly ending. 

Durant reiterated his desire to be traded in a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai in London earlier this month. The two-time NBA Finals MVP delivered an ultimatum to the Taiwanese-born Canadian team owner: trade me or fire general manager Sean Marks, and coach Steve Nash. 

Tsai has since thrown his public support on the embattled Marks and Nash on Twitter after details of the meeting became public. 

Durant has reportedly added the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics to his preferred landing spots in addition to Phoenix and Miami. 

The Celtics, who swept Durant and the Nets in the last playoffs, reportedly offered a package featuring Jaylen Brown, which the Nets counter-offered, seeking the addition of reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. The Celtics balked at the offer. 

Even without Durant, the Celtics are the early favorites to win next season’s NBA championship. The latest NBA Championship odds as per BettingInsiderJournal.com are favoring the Celtics at +450, with defending champion Golden State Warriors at joint second with the Los Angeles Clippers (+650).

The Warriors have lost key bench players Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II to free agency, while the Clippers are expected to have a healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. 

The belief around the league is that Irving will likely get traded once Durant is gone. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are now reportedly willing to include two future first-round picks (2027 and 2029) to unload Russell Westbrook for Irving. Brooklyn, however, has shown an unwillingness to absorb Westbrook’s $47.1 million salary for next season, which could shoot up Tsai’s already exorbitant luxury tax bill to historic proportions. 

If Durant and Irving get traded, the Nets will likely downgrade from a championship contender to a borderline playoff team with Ben Simmons. 

 

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Alder Almo is a former senior sportswriter for Philstar.com and NBA.com Philippines. He is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey, and writes for the New York-based sports website empiresportsmedia.com.

BROOKLYN

KEVIN DURANT

KYRIE IRVING

NBA

NETS

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