Nets Could Trade Kyrie Irving This Season: Sources

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets react during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies

The Kevin Durant trade speculation seemingly got put to bed after the star rescinded his trade demand with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant, his agent, Steve Nash, Sean Marks, and Joe and Clara Wu Tsai met in August and were able to negotiate a way for Durant to commit to coming back to Brooklyn. Now the team looks to be prepared to run it back with Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. However, on August 30, NBA Insider Ric Bucher shared a quote from one unnamed GM that stated his belief that Durant could still be shopped at February’s trade deadline. 

“I think the Nets simply told him, ‘There’s not a deal we’re happy with, and we’re not just going to give you away,'” the GM said. “I think he’ll still get moved by the trade deadline if it doesn’t go well. That may have even been part of the deal, a soft agreement that they’ll move him if it’s not working.”

Eastern Conference Executive Reveals Possible Kyrie Trade News 

The belief that Durant would be shopped at the deadline didn’t make much sense after the Nets spent a summer looking for a historic trade haul in return for Durant. A February deal would likely not have the same return as one before the season. Another NBA Executive told Heavy that if any Nets player were to be shopped midseason, it wouldn’t be Kevin Durant. It would be Kyrie Irving. 

“Not at the deadline, no. Maybe Kyrie, because of his contract, he is going to be a free agent. So if the year is a disappointment early on, then yes, you would at least have to explore the trade market on Kyrie. You won’t get good value because of all the baggage Kyrie has and because it would probably be a short-term rental. We’ll see how it goes with the Lakers, but if they have a good year and feel like they’re just a Kyrie away from contending next year, they’ll be in a position to get him next summer. So that drags down his trade value,” the Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney.

Irving was shopped throughout the summer by the Brooklyn Nets, but the team was unable to find a suitor outside of the Los Angeles Lakers to be interested because of the added baggage he brings. If the Nets have a slow start to the season, the executive noted that Brooklyn could look to deal his expiring contract to make sure he doesn’t leave without getting anything in return. While they may not get the most value in a deadline deal for Irving, the Nets would at least get some added value from a contending team. 

Kyrie Irving MVP Caliber Season

However, if you ask Stephen A. Smith, the Nets won’t have to worry about a slow start for Irving. With Kyrie in a contract year and wanting to find another long-term contract with either Brooklyn or another team, Smith expects Irving to have a breakout year that catapults him into MVP contention. 

“I got Kyrie Irving as one of my top league MVP candidates. I think Kyrie Irving’s [going to] put on a show this year,” Smith said during a recent taping of ESPN First Take. “Everybody better brace themselves. Because the brother playing for a new contract. It matters. 200 million-plus dollars matters.”

Smith expects an elevated level of play from the star point guard, and that should also help elevate the Nets, who have something to prove after a disappointing season last season. While they could look to ship Irving away at the deadline, it seems unlikely as the team remains committed to finding out what they have with Irving, Durant, and Ben Simmons. 

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