Just like people scrambled and bent over backward to get Bobby Fischer to play the world championship in 1972, we could see the same thing here. More money for the winner might do it.
In 1972 I didn't even know how to play chess, but everybody was talking about the World Chess Championship. However, people didn't know how crazy Bobby Fischer was.
Although Carlsen could be sincere in his desire to not defend his world championship title, it could also be a negotiation tactic. I find myself not caring. A Nepo vs. Ding Liren match would be fun to watch because it will not be a foregone conclusion. If Carlsen loses the title then he may want it back later, which will make the next world championship match much more interesting.