REPORT: Kyrie Irving Has Demanded a Trade (UPDATE: Suitors Emerge)
Just when you think the Brooklyn Nets may actually be able to put together a normal season, Kyrie Irving has something to say.
According to both Shams Charania of The Athletic and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets’ superstar guard has demanded a trade. Irving reportedly wants to be traded to another team before this upcoming Feb. 9 trade deadline. If he isn’t traded, Irving has apparently told the Nets organization that he will leave in free agency.
Of course, the timing of this is shocking. Brooklyn is currently 4th in the Eastern Conference and just 5.5 games back of the top seeded Boston Celtics. With the return of Kevin Durant expected right around the All-Star break, the Nets had real potential to pull off a strong second-half surge. Not to mention, the solid play from role players like Nic Claxton, TJ Warren, Seth Curry, and Royce O’Neal made it feel as if this team could have a true playoff run in them.
This Irving news now puts everything in question. Let’s also not forget that Kevin Durant is only a handful of months removed from his own failed trade request, so one does have to wonder how this decision by Irving could impact his future outlook on the Nets.
With that said, we first have to see what happens with Irving over the next week. Averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game (while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from downtown), Irving is playing some of the best basketball of his career. While there is no question his personality and unpredictability will keep some teams from showing geninue interest, I have to imagine a handful of teams are still lining up to add Irving for a Finals run. The Los Angeles Lakers, in particular, feel like the team to watch.
Anyway, we’ll keep you updated. Time will only tell if this opened the flood gates on the trade deadline or only sealed them tighter as teams now wait to see where Irving goes.
It didn’t take much time at all for teams to emerge as suitors for Irving’s services.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Dallas Mavericks have long been interested in the prospect of adding Irving. However, the organization is hesitant to include significant assets. The Los Angeles Lakers – shocker – have also been thrown in the mix, while The Athletic’s Shams Charania name-dropped the Phoenix Suns as a suitor.
Finding a deal that works could be difficult for each one of those teams, but it’s certainly not out of the question. What will be fascinating to watch now is what is the Nets’ preferred asking price, and how much do they care about adding draft capital versus win-now talent to pair with Kevin Durant?