Irving had until Thursday to decide on his contract status and will now be eligible to sign a deal with any team in the league. ROC Nation was founded by former Nets part-owner Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, who played a large role in the team's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012.
Of course, as Bulpett notes, Durant's achilles injury throws a wrench into this summer's free agency, with the possibility of him opting into one more year with the Golden State Warriors becoming more likely. If Irving knows the chances of playing with Durant are remote, maybe he considers staying in Boston, where the chances of winning are higher than in NY. He then re-upped on a two-year, $11 million deal with the Celtics last summer, with the player option for 2019-20.
Irving, 27, demanded a trade out of Cleveland in 2017, with Boston supposedly being one of his preferred destinations.
Last season, in 16.1 minutes per game, Baynes averaged 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 47% shooting from the field, a career-high 34.4% from the three-point line and 85.5% from the free throw line.
If Boston obliges, that would be a deal worth just shy of $190 million using projected salary cap figures for 2019-20.
Now, they may very well get that chance.