After a disappointing end to the postseason at the hands of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, most NBA fans assumed that coming into the 2022 season, the Brooklyn Nets would look a lot different than they did in 2021. They have to address their problems at the center position and a weak bench if they want to have a shot at next year’s title. However, what nobody could see coming, was one of their three All-Stars being moved through a trade. According to Matt Sullivan the author of “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow” that is an option that has yet to be taken off of the table by the Nets’ front office.
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Kyrie Irving Posts Cryptic Instagram Message
Sullivan appeared on the Celtics Lab podcast on Tuesday, June 22, and dropped a bombshell. According to him, Nets general manager, Sean Marks would at least listen to trade offers for Nets’ All-Star Kyrie Irving.
“Let me give you guys a little news, I’m not sure that’s been out there. I’ve heard that Nets’ ownership was quite upset with Kyrie’s pause, especially that mask-less party that turned his pseudo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension,” Sullivan said per Nets Wire. “And in the last week I’ve heard rumblings — whispers, really, because cracking the Nets is kind of like breaking into the Kremlin, that Brooklyn GM Sean Marks would maybe, possibly, apparently be willing to at least listen to a trade offer for Kyrie this offseason.”
In his latest Instagram post, Kyrie seems to respond to the rumors that the Nets are looking to trade him this offseason. “Write it down, work in silence, then make it look effortless,” he said.
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Steve Nash Was Upset With Kyrie During His Hiatus
While it may seem highly unlikely that the Nets move Irving after just his first full season with Brooklyn, Sullivan’s report about the Nets’ frustration with the All-Star guard seems consistent with other reports that have been released throughout the regular season.
In March of 2021 Mike Mazzeo of Forbes reported that after a seven-game hiatus in January, Nets head coach Steve Nash began to grow frustrated with Kyrie. Not because of the hiatus itself but because according to Mazzeo, Irving had kept everyone updated on his situation except for Nash.
“Irving’s absence due to personal reasons initially came as a surprise to Nash. Nash said that he had texted Irving, but the All-Star guard didn’t respond. Irving, however, did text his teammates in their group chat regarding the situation,” Mazzeo writes per Forbes. “Nash, who had built a reputation as a standup guy in the locker room during his career — where trust was built on honesty, respect, and directness — was frustrated with Irving’s lack of communication, league sources said.”
Replacing Kyrie Is No Easy Job
While Kyrie may have been a handful to deal with this season, there is no denying that he has been worth the price of admission for the Nets. For one, during the regular season, he was undoubtedly the healthiest member of the Nets’ ‘Big 3’. Harden and Durant each missed more than a month of playing time with hamstring injuries.
In addition, Kyrie’s talent level speaks for itself. In the 2020-21 season, Irving became one of nine players in NBA history to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the free-throw line. Whether the Nets plan to move Irving has yet to be confirmed, but if they decide to, he will not be an easy player to replace.