After failing to agree on the terms of a max contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason, 7-time All-Star Kyrie Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Coming into this season, Irving had the understanding that this would be a prove-it year for him to show the Nets that he was worth the max contract extension that he is seeking, leaving an inkling of hope of a reconciliation between the two sides.
But that all changed last month when Irving shared the link to a film that featured anti-Semitic tropes. Irving’s actions ultimately led to the Nets suspending him for eight games, further fracturing the relationship between the two sides and thus decreasing the chances of him remaining in Brooklyn past this season. If Brooklyn decided to cut their losses with Irving and traded him mid-season, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report proposes a deal that would send the one-time NBA champion to the Miami Heat.
Full details below:
Brooklyn Nets Receive:
PG Kyle Lowry
G/F Max Strus
Miami Heat Receive:
PG Kyrie Irving
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Nets Urged to Cut Ties With Kyrie Irving
As far as talent level is concerned, Lowry and Irving are nowhere near the same tier. But one thing Lowry can provide for the Nets that Irving has always struggled with is availability, whether it be because of injury or some other reason. In the past three seasons, Irving has not played more than 60 games.
Lowry would also bring championship experience with him to Brooklyn. Ironically, it was Kevin Durant’s Golden State Warriors, who he beat for his lone title in 2019. Swartz says it would be wise for the Nets to cut ties with the star point guard now.
“While Irving has returned to the Nets, history tells us it’s only a matter of time before something else keeps him away from the team. Brooklyn would be wise to cut ties completely, seeing if teams like the Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are interested in the talented yet turbulent point guard,” Swartz writes.
“Lowry, 36, is well past his prime but is at least a reliable floor general, suiting up in all 18 contests while averaging 14.3 points and 6.1 assists. Strus has worked his way into becoming a solid starter, giving the Heat 15.3 points per game and shooting 35.3 percent from three. Both would likely be starters in Brooklyn, giving Kevin Durant some added playmaking and shooting around him.”
Kyle Lowry Sounds off on Early Struggles
Not recognized for his immaculate shot-making ability, Lowry is trying to find his role on the Heat this season. He is shooting 38.9% from the field and 35.9 % from beyond the arc this season. And with the Heat having a 7-11 record this season, it is clear that this is not the same Heat squad that was a possession away from advancing to last year’s NBA Finals. Amid Miami’s slow start, Lowry spoke about how their lineup changes from the previous year could be the reason.
“Honestly, everybody has a different role this year, things are a little bit different, right? Tyler’s in the starting lineup, and Bam’s more aggressive. We’ve got different lineups with this, that, and the other, and we’re just trying to figure it out right now,” Lowry told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“I could probably have the ball a little bit longer, keep the ball in my hands a little bit more. That could help,” Lowry said when asked how he can generate more shots for himself. “But I’m an unselfish player. So sometimes it’s called for you to kind of get off the ball and let the game come to you.”
With Irving set to be a free agent in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how the Nets move forward this season.