Nets Make Final Call on Bringing Back Star Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a game against the Boston Celtics.

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a game against the Boston Celtics.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the franchise on February 3. Irving and the Nets have been unable to agree on the terms of a new contract. Irving was initially scheduled to play in their game against the Washington Wizards on February 4 but was a late scratch due to right calf soreness.

The status of his calf remains in the air, but what does seem apparent is that Irving has played his last game in a Nets uniform. According to Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report, Brooklyn will sideline Kyrie until they have a deal to move him in place.

“Brooklyn Nets intend to keep Kyrie Irving sidelined until a trade is finalized ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline,” Haynes tweeted on February 5.

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Clippers Make ‘Strong Offer’ for Kyrie Irving

The status of Irving’s trade request seems to be smoke and mirrors. Teams are interested in the star point guard as one of the most prolific talents in the NBA today. But with Irving on an expiring deal and his desire for a long-term contract despite his sporadic availability, teams are wary of signing him. As a result, most conversations on a potential blockbuster deal have not moved past the exploratory stages

However, at least one team has shown their interest in the star point guard is real. According to Law Murray of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Clippers have made a “strong offer” to acquire Irving at the deadline.

“Sources tell [The Athletic] that the LA Clippers have made a strong offer to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving, and that head coach Tyronn Lue is open to coaching Irving again after the two won a championship with Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016,” Murray tweeted on February 4.

Nets Coach Sends Message on the State of the Team

What has ironically been lost in the Kyrie trade saga is how it will affect the current state of the Nets’ locker room. Irving was already suspended by the Nets earlier this season for tweeting the link to a film that contained anti-Semitic tropes. And now, amid his trade request, he is again set to miss time. Before the Nets took on the Wizards on February 4, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn addressed the dark cloud currently hanging over the Nets.

“I think you have a responsibility as a basketball player like I do as a coach. I show up, I do my job every single day. That’s what I signed up for. And that’s my expectations for one through 17,” Vaughn said via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

He also said he hopes the situation “lifts” the current group.

“I hope it lifts the group up in that they can pull together and show some resolve together. I’m gonna continue to say it, the words I’m gonna continue to use with this group: continue to show up, show up and do the work. And you can live with what happens after that, whatever results, show up and continue to do the work,” Vaughn added.

“That’s gonna be the message to the group. I’m gonna try to lead the charge and keep them focused, and I have full energy and belief that this group will continue to thrive.”

It will be interesting to see where Irving plays next.