Nets Players Send Strong Message Amid Ongoing Trade Rumors

Ben Simmons and Royce O'Neale

Getty Ben Simmons (L) and Royce O'Neale of the Brooklyn Nets attend a game between the Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2022 NBA Summer League

The future of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets has been a bit murky this offseason. It has been unclear what is going on at any given moment between the two sides. Brooklyn was unwilling to give Irving a long-term extension because of concerns that have developed in his time with the Nets, especially after his stance with the COVID-19 vaccine which caused him to miss multiple key games for the franchise. Irving has gone back and forth from wanting to join the Los Angeles Lakers to reunite with LeBron James this offseason or reports that he never wanted to leave Brooklyn. Irving ultimately ended up opting into the final year remaining on his player option in Brooklyn. 

The Nets have been reported to being so done with the drama that Irving brings that they have thought about exercising the stretch-and-waive provision to rid themselves of Kyrie for his final season in Brooklyn. They have also been engaged in constant trade discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers to move on from the star. 

However, the recent updates with Irving have been that the star is in a “good place and comfortable” with the franchise and could return to Brooklyn next season. The Nets also offered Irving support on their official social media accounts, sharing photos from Iriving’s “More Than A Run” All-Star Game. Irving also received support from Nets teammates at the game as well. 

Irving’s Nets Teammates Show Support

After an offseason of trade rumors involving Irving and the Nets, the point guard still had the support of his Nets teammates at the “More Than A Run” All-Star Game, he hosted at New Jersey’s Kean University. The game was attended by fellow Nets players Kessler Edwards, Royce O’Neale, David Duke Jr., Alondes Williams, and RaiQuan Gray. After so much uncertainty, the gesture by the players is a good sign for the Nets, especially if the point guard returns next season. 

Ian Begley of SNY alluded to Irving believing he will be back in Brooklyn next season in a recent report. “A source close to Irving said this week that the seven-time All-Star is in a good place with the Nets and comfortable entering the 2022-23 season,” Begley wrote

In the same report, Begley shared that if the Nets were to bring back Irving and Durant, they would have a pretty strong roster heading into next season. 

“If the Nets bring back Irving and Durant, they’ll have one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference on paper. Irving, Durant, Ben SimmonsPatty MillsJoe HarrisSeth Curry and Nic Claxton and the Nets’ other returning players/additions make a strong roster,” Begley wrote.

Will Irving be Welcomed Back?

After last season’s drama in Brooklyn and the sloppy offseason, can the Nets have a solid season returning their core, or will it be messy? It’s hard to say. Each season Irving and Durant have been in Brooklyn has brought a degree of drama with them. However, the support from both new and old Nets teammates during the middle of the offseason is certainly an excellent sign. 

Another Nets Teammate Reunion

Kyrie Irving and the Nets teammates at his All-Star game wasn’t the only Nets reunion seen recently. Kevin Durant, who also has been reported to be most likely scenario of the 12-time All-Star returning to Brooklyn next season was seen out and about in Los Angeles with a member of the Nets big three, Ben Simmons. Simmons and Durant were spotted out in LA with the Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis. The footage was shared in an August 5 tweet and could suggest that Durant is more open to a Nets return.

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