Trade Proposal Ships Kyrie Irving West, Starter to the Bench: Report

Kyrie Irving

Getty Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving smiles following their 120-108 win over the Houston Rockets at Barclays Center on March 31, 2021 in New York City.

For those that may be tardy to the party, the Brooklyn Nets decided to exclude Kyrie Irving from team activities completely until he receives the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. This includes but is not limited to home games, away games and team practices. For the Nets, Irving has pretty much become an idle spot on the roster. They have struggled out of the gate at 4-3 and are sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. For that reason, many believe that for the right price the Nets would trade Irving — and a late-October Bleacher Report proposal suggests a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers could be beneficial for all.

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Trade Proposal Has Nets Move Kyrie Irving to Clippers

Without Irving, the Nets have struggled but have still managed to keep their heads above water. With Nets superstar Kevin Durant playing like a Most Valuable Player candidate, and James Harden slowly getting back to form, adding another asset could give this team a huge boost. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report has the Nets moving Irving and Jevon Carter to the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade proposal that would bring the Nets three players and five draft pics through 2028.

The full proposal results in the Nets receiving Eric Bledsoe, Luke Kennard, Keon Johnson, a 2028 first-round pick and second-round picks from 2022-2025. A decent haul for the Nets in the present and the future. Swartz also pointed out that Irving would be eligible to play without receiving the vaccine.

“While Los Angeles joined New York and San Francisco as cities with strict vaccine mandates, the new rule does not affect Staples Center, meaning Irving could participate in all home and away games whether he chooses to get vaccinated or not,” Swartz wrote.

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Joe Harris Could Join Second Unit as a Result of the Trade

Getting a shooter like Kennard also means the Nets would have the option of inserting him into their starting five and moving Joe Harris to the bench. Harris, who was the best long-range shooter in the NBA last season, has struggled to start this season. In seven games Harris is averaging 11.0 points per game and is shooting just 36.5% from the field and 36% from the three-point line.

“Getting Bledsoe gives the Nets a starting-caliber point guard to plugin for Irving, and Kennard is the perfect sniper to spell starter Joe Harris in the second unit,” Swartz continued.

“Picking up five draft picks in the process sets Brooklyn up to make future upgrades to the roster, and the Nets suddenly have a nice collection of young talent by adding Johnson to fellow rookies Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe.”

Durant Praises Nets Reserves

While Nets starters such as Blake Griffin, Harris and Harden have struggled out of the gate the Nets may have struck gold with their second unit. Players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Bruce Brown and DeAndre Bembry have come up big for the Nets when they needed it the most. Durant praised their effort after their win over the Detroit Pistons.

“I like that we’ve got … a good balance of players in that group. You’ve got scorers in LaMarcus and Patty, defenders who can cut and make plays, long, athletic guys, DB, Bruce, and Jevon. Athletic, quick guys that can get out and play in space and great defenders,” Durant said per NetsDaily.

“I like what we’ve seen with that group. Sure, we’re going to keep trying to fine-tune what that looks like, but we put pressure on them with the offensive side of the ball and played great defense.”

Trading Irving for that big of a haul makes good from a common sense standpoint for the Nets. They get better immediately and give themselves assets to perhaps make in a bigger trade for a superstar in the future. From the Clippers side of things an eventual big three of Kyrie, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard could end up being a contender in the west. 

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