With the NBA’s trade deadline less than a week away, guard Kyrie Irving decided got the ball rolling by requesting a trade from the Nets on Friday, according to multiple reports. Already, at least three teams seem to be in the mix for eight-time All-Star.
Both the Lakers and the Mavericks are teams that Brooklyn is expected to speak with in regards to an Irving trade ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, Marc Stein reports. More so, Irving has maintained an interest in joining the Lakers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, making L.A. even more of a player in trade talks in the coming days.
Wojnarowski adds that Dallas has previously expressed interest in Irving and is expected to explore a trade again over the next week, but has largely remained reluctant to make a significant offer for the 30-year-old point guard.
On top of the Lakers and the Mavericks, the Suns are expected to be among the suitors for Irving, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, putting all three Western Conference clubs in contention ahead of the deadline.
Nadkarni: The Nets Need to Cut Bait With Kyrie Irving
According to Charania, if Irving isn’t traded, he will not re-sign with the Nets when he enters free agency this offseason. The Nets have reportedly tried to work out an extension with the star guard, but included certain “stipulations” in their offers that have lead to the extension talks breaking down, per Charania.
In his fourth year with the Nets, Irving has returned to All-Star form, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in 40 appearances thus far. With fellow star Kevin Durant sidelined due to an MCL sprain, Irving has helped carry the Nets to a 31–20 record, landing the franchise fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with the trade deadline and All-Star break rapidly approaching.
However, since Irving first came to Brooklyn in the summer of 2019, the point guard’s time with the franchise has been anything but smooth sailing. Irving played in just 29 games during the 2021–22 campaign in large part because of his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine. Then, earlier this season Irving was suspended for multiple games after promoting an antisemitic film and book on social media.
Despite the issues off the court, Irving’s relationship with the Nets appeared to be trending in the right direction after Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported last month that Irving wanted to stay in Brooklyn for the rest of his career. However, Friday’s trade request is evidence to the contrary, with Wojnarowski reporting that the two sides haven’t come close to an agreement.