Kyrie Irving reportedly threatens to leave Nets in free agency if not traded by Thursday
Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
This nonsense is par for the course for Irving and his recent Nets superstar teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden (now in Philadelphia). They love making trade requests. Sometimes they get traded, sometimes they don't and it's like nothing ever happened.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have emerged as potential suitors for Brooklyn Nets All-Star starter Kyrie Irving, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
Irving who was recently voted an NBA All-Star starter was starting to get a lot of good buzz again around the NBA as the Nets season turned around, but the Nets are no fools. Giving Irving a max contract with no stipulations would be foolish considering you never know what he's going to pull.
Apparently their offer wasn't "well received" and that's why Irving selfishly has no problem saying "screw his teammates and coach," he wants out immediately. In the offseason Irving more or less had negative trade value, whereas their are teams that would likely give up more now.
Shams mentions the Lakers, Suns, and Mavs as suitors. The Lakers would give up a 1st rounder and maybe a 2nd one to flip Westbrook for Irving, while the Suns would likely trade a pick or two to swap the older Chris Paul for Irving. Personally I could see Irving contaminating the Suns young stars similar to what he did in Boston.
Irving needs to be the 2nd guy, way behind a perennial superstar like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. He simply doesn't work as your lead guy. Devin Booker is the better player, but would Irving admit that? Also Booker tends to get hurt a lot.
The Mavs have always been an intriguing landing spot for Irving. Originally due to Dallas' less strict COVID guidelines, but also because the team has been desperate to find a second star to pair next to Luka Doncic.
Again I see the pairing of Doncic and Irving ending poorly. I could see it eventually leading to Doncic wanting out.
Kyrie Irving asks for $200 million. How do you respond? https://t.co/yfVi29Y6RG— CelticsLife.com (@celticslife) February 3, 2023
The Lakers make the most sense, since they aren't winning a title this year without some Hail Mary move and getting Irving is likely the only one they have the assets to pull off. Irving has talked about regretting being immature and requesting a trade previously from LeBron James and the Cavs. LeBron will likely push for this trade.
The problem is the Nets are in win now mode, and swapping Irving for Westbrook would be a step back. That trade likely then results in Kevin Durant demanding a trade again.
👀👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 3, 2023
All of this noise could be a ploy by Irving and his agents to get the Nets to acquiesce and provide a better contract offer to Kyrie. He wouldn't be the first person to threaten to leave to get paid more.