NBA

Kyrie has list of sign-and-trade options with Durant 'monitoring Nets situation'

By Sports Desk June 23, 2022

The Brooklyn Nets could be set to lose their two biggest stars with Kyrie Irving eyeing up other teams and Kevin Durant monitoring the situation, according to multiple reports. 

By June 29, Irving must decide whether to take up his $36.5million player option for the 2022-23 season or opt out and test free agency or sign a new deal with the Nets. 

Talks are understood to be at an impasse and ESPN reported on Thursday that if an agreement cannot be reached, the seven-time All-Star would pursue a sign-and-trade. 

It was claimed the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers were on Irving's list of favoured destinations. 

According to The Athletic, the uncertainty surrounding the Nets has led to Durant considering his future with the franchise. 

Durant signed an extension through the 2025-26 season last year, but would reportedly seek a trade if Irving departed. 

Irving is said to have engaged in conversations with former Cleveland Cavaliers team-mate LeBron James about a reunion at the Lakers. The pair led the Cavaliers to the NBA championship in 2016, but parted ways the following season. 

Across the three seasons they have both been in Brooklyn, Irving and Durant have only played a total of 58 games together. 

Durant sat out the entire 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury, while he missed significant time in each of the following two campaigns through hamstring and knee problems respectively. 

Irving, meanwhile, was a bit-part player for much of 2021-22 after he refused to comply with the New York City COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

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    Elena Rybakina is determined to enjoy herself after setting up a groundbreaking Wimbledon final against Ons Jabeur.

    Rybakina had not won a single grass-court semi-final prior to Thursday's match against Simona Halep, but she rose to the occasion in a stunning 6-3 6-3 win.

    While the Kazakh said she was "quite nervous", it did not show as she forged nine break point opportunities – including in each Halep service game of the first set – and faced just one.

    Rybakina's serve was similarly effective, with five aces and no double-faults; Halep had no aces and nine double-faults.

    "It was really, really good," the victor said. "Usually, I have ups and downs. But I think today I was mentally prepared, and I did everything I could, and it was an amazing match."

    Now, attention turns towards facing Jabeur, with both women playing their first major finals.

    It will be the first time in the Open Era the women's singles final at the All England Club will be contested between two players who have not played a championship match at a grand slam before.

    The stakes are only getting higher for Rybakina, but she is relishing the opportunity.

    "I think it's going to be a great match," she said. "I'm going to try to do my best, but I'm going to enjoy it. I've already done a lot; it's time to enjoy the final."

  • Wimbledon: Rybakina roars into first slam final with stunning upset of Halep Wimbledon: Rybakina roars into first slam final with stunning upset of Halep

    Elena Rybakina overpowered former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep 6-3 6-3 in the last four on Thursday to reach her first major final at the All England Club.

    Rybakina is playing in the main draw in SW19 for only the second time, having debuted in 2021.

    Yet the Kazakh looks every bit as accomplished on the London grass as the esteemed Halep, who had not lost at Wimbledon since 2018, taking the title in 2019.

    Indeed, the Romanian met her match in Rybakina, who forged nine break point opportunities in a dominant display, aided by a flawless serve as Halep gave up a costly nine double-faults.

    Despite being one of the game's great returners, Halep found herself on the back foot right from the outset.

    She faced break points in each of her four service games in the opener, with a rampant Rybakina decisively seizing the first of them as she dictated play from the back of the court.

    Rybakina's power continued to cause problems for Halep, although a trio of double-faults – including to both set up and secure the break point – were to blame as the first-time semi-finalist was gifted an early lead again in the second set.

    That advantage was cancelled out in similarly generous fashion, with four straight unforced errors seeing Rybakina unexpectedly broken to love.

    However, normal service was swiftly resumed as Rybakina won a sublime rally to tee up another break, and there was time for one final flourish as a sensational return from the 23-year-old left Halep rooted and wrapped up victory in 77 minutes.

    Data slam: Simona's semi-final struggles

    Losing at Wimbledon may have been an unfamiliar feeling for Halep after 12 straight wins at the tournament, including 10 in straight sets, but she is becoming all too accustomed to failing in the last four.

    Excluding walkovers, this was the Romanian's fourth consecutive semi-final defeat. For Rybakina, it was a first win at this stage of any tournament on grass.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

    Rybakina – 13/16
    Halep – 16/15

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

    Rybakina – 5/0
    Halep – 0/9

    BREAK POINTS WON

    Rybakina – 3/9
    Halep – 1/1

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    The 23-year-old attacked at the tail end of the climb into Longwy, accelerating away from the peloton to finish ahead of Michael Matthews and David Gaudu and snatch the overall lead from Wout van Aert.

    Van Aert did not give up the yellow jersey without a fight, at one stage looking set for an extraordinary solo victory after breaking clear to establish a sizeable lead with 25 kilometres remaining. 

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    "The strongest guy was in the break. Many teams were pulling the peloton strongly, our team did it as well. In the end, the peloton was stronger [than Van Aert], but we were not sure to catch him.

    "I was feeling good. My team did an incredibly good job to put me in a perfect position. It was not a pure sprint after we rode the last two climbs above threshold.

    "I guess I had good legs to push in the end. I don't mind taking the yellow jersey, but I'm above all happy to take the stage win. Everything else is bonus."

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    Pogacar began this year's edition of the Tour looking to become just the second rider to triumph on each of his first three appearances in the race (after Eddy Merckx won on each of his first five outings between 1969 and 1974).

    While he had to remain patient after Van Aert accelerated away in the early stages here, his triumph – the fifth stage win at the Tour of his career – demonstrated he remains the rider to beat.

    STAGE RESULTS

    1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 4:27:13
    2. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) same time
    3. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ)
    4. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)
    5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) 

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

    General Classification

    1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 20:44:44
    2. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) +0:04
    3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:31

    Points Classification

    1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 198
    2. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 137
    3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 89

    King of the Mountains

    1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) 11
    2. Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) 2
    3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 2

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