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Kyrie Irving won't say if he'll play for Nets as reports of Lakers' pursuit looms

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Kyrie Irving sure doesn't sound like someone who wants to stay with the Brooklyn Nets.

The star guard refused to say whether or not he wanted to remain with his current team when asked by Complex News’ Pierce Simpson at the BET Awards on Sunday night.

Irving laughed when Simpson directly asked if he "wanted to be a Brookly Net, still?" and told Simpson to "pass it...pass it to my left."

Though he didn't answer the question on-air, Irving did respond to Complex's video in an Instagram comment. The current Nets guard said "When I smile like that, it means there's more to the story. I'll have my time to address things."

Decide for yourself what that means.

Where Irving could end up

Irving's future with Brooklyn remains in serious doubt as the Wednesday deadline approaches for Irving to accept or decline his $36.9 million player option. If Irving declines, he'll become a free agent.

Speculation about Irving's next team began to swirl soon after the Nets were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and became more prevalent when The Athletic's Shams Charania reported earlier this month that Irving and the Nets were at an "impasse" over his future with the team and that the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks would be possible suitors if Irving wanted to leave Brooklyn. That possibility narrowed to just one team.

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Monday that sources close to Irving believe he is targeting a reunion with LeBron James on the Lakers, and that James is receptive to that idea. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported Monday that the Lakers are the only team planning to pursue Irving in a sign-and-trade, but the Nets aren't believed to be interested in the Lakers' offers.

The Nets have reportedly given Irving's camp permission to speak with teams, according to The Daily News' Kristian Winfield. The list of teams Irving reportedly would be open to joining included the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers, according to Wojnarowski.

There is an escape hatch for Irving if he doesn't want to wait for the Nets to complete a sign-and-trade. If Irving opts out of his player option, he could just sign a $6 million midlevel exception with any team a free agent. And believe it or not, but Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Monday that his sources believe this is a possibility for Irving to do this summer so he can re-sign a long-term deal in 2023.

Anything is possible with Irving at the center.

Kyrie Irving could be LA-bound if the Brooklyn Nets decide to trade him. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving could be LA-bound if the Brooklyn Nets decide to trade him. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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