Kyrie Irving reportedly asks Nets for trade
Kyrie Irving’s agent said last week that the star point guard wants to sign a contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets, but that is apparently no longer true.
Irving has informed the Nets that he wants to be traded ahead of next Thursday’s deadline, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The eight-time All-Star is scheduled to become a free agent after the season, and Charania said he told Brooklyn he will not re-sign.
Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
It seems like Irving wanted a new deal from the Nets but the interest was not reciprocated. Marc Stein reports that Brooklyn has felt no urgency to sign Irving to an extension, believing he will need them to facilitate a sign-and-trade in order for him to land with a new team this offseason, anyway.
The Nets' strategy to this point, as I reported earlier this week, has been to focus on playing out the season without extending Kyrie Irving's contract … believing Irving likely needs a sign-and-trade in the summer to get to another destination he likes. Kyrie's counter today: https://t.co/ZusHGodbRE
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 3, 2023
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the Nets had some talks with Irving about a new deal but could not come to an agreement.
Irving wanted a multi-year extension from the Nets last offseason. The 30-year-old instead exercised his $36.5 million player option, which he would not have done if teams around the league showed significant interest in him.
After he appeared in just 29 games last year due to vaccine requirements and off-court drama, Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds this year. He is eligible for a full max extension worth roughly $200 million over four seasons, and he is probably trying to capitalize on his solid play. Given his history, it is hardly a surprise that the Nets do not want to give Irving a max deal.
Irving was suspended earlier this season over his promotion of an anti-Semitic film and the way he handled the controversy. There were reports a few months ago that the Nets had completely soured on him.
The Nets are 31-20 and have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. They would probably be open to trading Irving, but the question is whether the return will be significant enough to justify it.