Nets divided on signing Irving if Durant doesn’t come, too

Celtics star Kyrie Irving averaged 23.8 points and a career-high 6.9 assists this past season.

The Brooklyn Nets are strongly considering trying to sign Kyrie Irving, but some members of the organization aren’t especially high on the idea if they can’t sign Kevin Durant, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Irving has opted out of his contract with the Boston Celtics, and despite a Achilles tendon surgery, Durant is expected to do the same with the Golden State Warriors.

Irving has strongly been linked to the Nets.

“Other teams had already backed off of pursuing Irving with similar concerns over the way things went awry in Boston,” Lewis reported. “If the Nets do the same, it would mean keeping (D’Angelo) Russell, who is a younger and cheaper option as a restricted free agent.”

He added: “Brooklyn has almost $68 million in cap room if it renounces Russell, $46 million after his cap hold.”

Irving reportedly had not ruled out a return to the Celtics, though that seems like a long shot at this point. He has also been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Irving averaged 23.8 points and a career-high 6.9 assists in 67 games this past season, but the Celtics failed to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in three years. Record-wise, there has been no dramatic shift for the Celtics one way or the other whether Irving is playing, resting or injured.

The free agency period begins June 30.