Trade Proposal Has Nets Ship ‘Big 3’ Guard to NBA’s Youngest Team: Report

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving tries to get past Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards.

The Brooklyn Nets have not had an ideal start to the 2021 NBA season. A team that came in with championship expectations sits at just 2-2 in an Eastern Conference that continues to look more competitive as the season goes by. The slow start cannot be completely put on the shoulders of 7-time All-Star Kyrie Irving.  But there is no doubt that his absence has played a large part in the Nets’ early season struggles as they continue to try and adjust without him.

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Trade Proposal Has Nets Move Kyrie Irving to Thunder

Though many Nets fans are still hopeful that Irving will return and play for the Nets this season Grant Hughes of “Bleacher Report” thinks the Nets should cut their losses and trade him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA’s youngest team.

“From a purely practical standpoint, we have no choice but to bring the Oklahoma City Thunder back into the chat. They’re the league’s island of misfit toys, the franchise that takes on unwanted salaries and either flips them (Al Horford) or buys them out (Kemba Walker),” Hughes writes.

“All they want are draft picks, and the Nets could attach a heavily protected first-rounder to Irving, which might be all it’d take considering the understandably low interest in Irving around the league.”

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Trading Irving to Thunder Would Be Salary Dump for Nets

Irving not being available to contribute for the Nets is the obvious downside of his absence. And as one of the best point guards in the league replacing him is pretty much impossible. But another side of it is that with his absence and the Nets keeping him on the roster, he is currently taking up a roster spot. One that could be used on a player who could at least play some kind of role with the team. Or even perhaps a star player who they can bring in midseason such as Bradley Beal. It is one of the main reasons Hughes believes that Brooklyn should trade him.

“The Nets wouldn’t be getting much for a player they thought was a cornerstone, but they’re getting nothing at all for him as it stands right now. Brooklyn could create a $35.3 million trade exception, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks, which would at least give Brooklyn the means to bring in another high-salaried star should one become available later this season. That’s a real asset for a title contender like the Nets,” Hughes continued.

“Meanwhile, the Thunder could flip Irving if he has a change of heart about playing, let him walk in free agency, or simply allow him to collect checks while doing nothing at all. To them, any deal would be all about the draft equity.”

Trading Irving to Thunder Would Be Salary Dump for Nets

After just four games into the season and a 2-2 start, the Nets impulse trading Kyrie for a salary dump seems highly unlikely. But that is not to say that the Nets wouldn’t at least consider moving Irving for the right price. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that although the Nets haven’t made any calls about Irving, they have taken calls from other teams regarding his availability.

“Brooklyn, I’m told, has taken incoming calls from teams on Kyrie Irving. They have not themselves made any calls on Kyrie Irving,” Woj said during a recent appearance on “NBA Countdown.”

The early pulse on the Nets season is what everyone expected it to be. They are better with Kyrie than without him. But just four games into the season and sitting at a .500 record it is not time for Brooklyn to panic yet.

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