Why did the Brooklyn Nets reverse their stance on a Kyrie Irving trade?
With recent reports suggesting a deal involving the Lakers’ Russell Westbrook was imminent, the reversal has taken many by surprise.
In yet another plot twist, the franchise has now made it clear that it intends to stick with the ever-unpredictable point guard.
Unravelling the Kyrie Irving/Kevin Durant vs Nets saga
Since the NBA offseason started, much of the news has been dominated by the Brooklyn Nets and their two stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. With the latter dropping a bombshell on the league with his trade request, analysts, fans and players alike have been in a constant back and forth over how it will all end. To date, the Nets have maintained that their desire is to keep the former league MVP, however, Durant himself has given no indication that he’d like to stay. In fact, the two-time NBA champion actually issued a ‘me or them’ statement when he demanded that head coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks be dismissed in exchange for his loyalty. It was a statement that franchise owner Joe Tsai didn’t take kindly to. Indeed, the Nets, have since made it clear that Durant is not going anywhere.
At any rate, the rumor mill continues to churn out reports of the various teams who are interested - most recently the Grizzlies - and what they could offer, but for the moment there has been no significant progress. That of course brings us to Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving. Easily one of the best point guards in the modern era, Irving has also featured heavily in the headlines, with many expecting him to be on the way out as well if Durant did manage to force an exit. Irving, it should be said did opt for his $37 million player option earlier this summer, but the chatter linking him with a move to the Lakers still continues.
The Nets want to keep Kyrie Irving
As per recent reports, the Nets have apparently been informing teams around the league that they intend to keep Irving on the roster ahead of the 2022-23 NBA regular season. “...Kyrie Irving committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working out with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star,” the report stated.
For the purpose of context here, we should remember that both the Nets and Irving were unable to agree on an extension earlier this summer. At the time Irving wanted a long-term max deal, while the franchise seemed reluctant to spend big on Irving in light of his unpredictable track record. This after all, is a player who through injury, personal reasons and his now infamous feud over the covid-19 vaccine, has missed a number of games since signing for the Nets back in 2019. This of course begs the question, ‘why would Brooklyn take a U-turn on their stance?’ Whatever the case, we can definitely assume that the Lakers won’t be pleased. With a point guard problem of their own, LA was hopeful they could offload Russell Westbrook, but according to reports the Nets were never truly interested in a deal involving the Lakers under fire PG. With all that said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Irving leaves the Nets before the midseason trade deadline. Such is the way of things in the NBA and it’s not like the Nets don’t have reasons to doubt his commitment.