Nets All-Star guard, Kyrie Irving, has requested a trade, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Shockingly enough, this trade request comes on as a surprise. Despite Irving’s off-court issues during the first quarter of the season, the Net’s season has been mostly positive. Brooklyn is 31-20 this season and has shown tremendous strides in championship-winning basketball when healthy. Kevin Durant has played some of the best basketball of his career, Nic Claxton is a defensive player of the year candidate, and Kyrie has stayed on the court.
How the Brooklyn Nets Can Handle Kyrie Irving’s Trade Request
Kyrie Irving Requests Trade From the Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie’s rumors and headlines aren’t anything new, but why would he want out of Brooklyn? More significantly, what team (besides the ever-so-desperate Los Angeles Lakers) would like to trade for him?
There is no questioning that Kyrie is one of the most gifted basketball players ever. Former, current, and future NBA players have all praised Irving for his crafty ball handling, elite finishing, and ability to close out games. However, Irving has complicated life for the NBA teams who pay him millions due to his controversial and outspoken claims. These cover many ethical, political, and scientific topics. Due to New York state law, Kyrie couldn’t play in or enter any Nets or Knicks home games because of his choice not to be vaccinated. In 2018, Irving admitted that he is not convinced the Earth is round in an interview with The New York Times. Most recently, Kyrie tweeted a link to the anti-Semitic film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which showcases Jewish people lying about their origins.
With this trade rumor, Kyrie adds more fuel to his bonfire of controversies and headaches. One has to feel for owner Joe Tsai. He invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this Nets team centered around Irving and Durant. Where do the Nets go from here? Winning cures everything… and Brooklyn has been, which makes this trade rumor so frustrating.
Here are the options Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks has to deal with Kyrie’s trade request.
Option 1: Stay Put
This could either benefit or bite Brooklyn; there’s no in-between. Like Kevin Durant’s trade request this summer, Marks could test the waters but eventually keep his foot down. With Durant potentially returning after the all-star break from an MCL sprain, the Nets can get back to their winning ways. If they do, this will all be forgotten. However, what Brooklyn should be most terrified about is if Kyrie pulls a Kyrie and sits for the rest of the season if not traded by the February 9th deadline. That is obviously the worst-case scenario for Brooklyn, but Irving is such a wildcard that it wouldn’t shock anyone.
Option 2: Trade Kyrie
What separates Durant’s summer trade request from Kyrie’s is that there is a different market for Irving than there was for Durant. Few teams want to gamble future assets for a player who frequently gets involved in controversies. Despite his godly on-court product, the risk is too heavy for any NBA franchise not in Los Angeles. The Lakers have been involved in Kyrie trade rumors for about half a year now. The 13th seed in a tight Western conference, the Lakers are arguably more desperate for success than any other team. If (and that’s a big if) Kyrie stays out of trouble (almost too big of an if), the Lakers could be a scary team to face in the playoffs with a healthy Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving. The Clippers are also a team to monitor as they continue to search for a point guard to coexist with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Option 3: Tear it All Down
This is probably Joe Tsai’s last straw in the worst free agency investment of all time. The trade deadline is in less than a week. Take cover for a hoard of Woj bombs and Shams tweets.