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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Articles tagged: Kyrie Irving

Did Marcus Smart take shot at Kyrie Irving?

Jan 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) dribbles against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Smart could be the latest to join in on the roast of Kyrie Irving.

The Boston Celtics guard Smart spoke with reporters Tuesday and appeared to get in a shot at his ex-teammate Irving while talking about his own value.

“I think I proved a little bit of everything,” he said, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. “I heard the talk about [I’m] not a true point guard, and this and that, and they need a star point guard. We’ve had star point guards and all these point guards. And yet this so-called non-point guard is the only one that has led them to the Finals.”

Smart’s comment about “star point guards” definitely seems like a swipe at Irving. While Smart did play with other All-Star point guards like Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker, Thomas developed into an All-Star after he arrived in Boston, while Walker was brought in to help fill the void that Irving left behind. Irving himself was the real “star point guard” whose acquisition was supposed to lead the Celtics to the promised land. But thanks to both injury and general incompatibility, it never materialized before Irving jumped ship for Brooklyn in 2019.

We know that Irving was pretty unpopular in the Celtics locker room. The infamously abrasive Smart once snapped over an Irving-related inquiry too, so it’s not a stretch to read these comments as a swipe at Captain Flat Earth.

Kyrie Irving could still be traded to 1 team?

Kyrie Irving appeared to commit to the Brooklyn Nets for at least one more season when he opted into the final year of his contract on Monday, but the rumors of him being traded this summer have not evaporated entirely.

On the newest episode of his podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said there are “high-ranking people” in the NBA who still believe Irving could be traded. More specifically, those people do not think the possibility of Irving going to the Los Angeles Lakers is dead.

“I know that there are people in the league, and we’re not talking about ancillary people, we’re talking about high-ranking people, who believe that this is not done,” Windhorst said, via Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report. “I don’t know. Let me just say this about the Lakers. He obviously was very interested in joining the Lakers. The Lakers were very interested in having him.”

Irving may have been interested in the Lakers, but he was not interested enough to leave $30 million on the table. He could have declined his $37 million option and signed with the Lakers for the $6 million midlevel exception. Windhorst even said at one point that Irving might go that route, but no one expected him to.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there were three potential options for Irving to pursue opt-in-and-trade scenarios before he committed to the Nets. The Lakers were said to prefer signing Irving as a free agent rather than trading for him.

Charania reports that teams are still expected to pursue Irving via trade. However, they would now run the risk of Irving becoming a one-year rental and leaving in free agency next summer.

The Nets had a surprising stance on possibly losing both Irving and Kevin Durant. Perhaps Irving, with all his off-court drama, realized he would benefit from a season in which he focuses on basketball. If he can do that, he may have more appealing options as a free agent a year from now.

Kyrie Irving surprisingly reverses course on Nets future

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving appears to have played the NBA community like a fiddle.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Brooklyn Nets star has decided to opt into his $37 million player option with the team for next season. Charania adds that Irving intends to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and to co-star Kevin Durant.

Charania also shared a statement from the seven-time All-Star Irving. The statement read, “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”

That is a pretty stunning about-face for Irving, who looked to be as good as gone from Brooklyn just hours earlier. There was even talk that the 30-year-old star might be considering signing with a marquee team for a $6 million midlevel exception instead.

Having opted into the final year of his existing contract, Irving can no longer pursue a sign-and-trade deal. That means that he will be a Net next year for all intents and purposes (though Brooklyn can still trade Irving on their own accord). Durant’s short-term future in Brooklyn seems more secure now as well. But it still remains to be seen just how warmly Irving will be welcomed back, especially by a franchise owner who has recently sounded completely over Irving.

Kyrie Irving has lame response to hilarious video trolling him

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The latest drama surrounding Kyrie Irving has led to another round of criticism for the star point guard, and he is not exactly ignoring all of it.

Reports are swirling that Irving is on the verge of leaving the Brooklyn Nets. He has reportedly been given permission to seek a trade. If Irving does not return to the Nets next season, Kevin Durant will likely be out as well. Fans pointed out how Irving’s tenure with his previous two teams — the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics — ended poorly. Barstool Sports tried to illustrate that by sharing a funny video comparing Irving to the Joker in “The Dark Knight” when the villain blew up a hospital as he was walking away from it.

Irving did not appreciate the joke. He responded on Twitter by reminding Barstool that he is an NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist. He also criticized the media outlet for making money off of his name.

That makes almost no sense, but it is certainly on-brand for Irving. Barstool Sports is a media outlet. Irving is correct that they turn the things he does into money, but that’s the entire point. Once again, he fails to realize how the media’s coverage of him has a direct correlation to how much money he makes.

Irving is an exhausting person for many reasons, and the Nets have experienced that first-hand over the past few years. That is probably why they have a surprising stance on potentially losing him.

Report: Nets have surprising stance on possibly losing Durant and Irving

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are facing the possibility of their superteam’s collapse this offseason. A new report suggests they would not see that as the worst possible outcome.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “This Just In,” reporter Brian Windhorst revealed that the Nets would rather lose both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving rather than repeat the drama and difficulty of the 2021-22 season.

“The Nets are putting out there right now that they are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant,” Windhorst said. “They would rather lose them both than go through what they went through last season, which was a miserable season under the situation that Kyrie Irving contributed to creating.”

Windhorst added that he was skeptical of the Nets’ claim, and he wondered aloud if it was a negotiating tactic to pressure Irving.

Given how much money and effort the Nets invested in building a team around Durant and Irving, this might come as a surprise. However, there is no disputing that the formula was not working. The Nets were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs after needing to a win a play-in game just to get that far. That can be chalked up partly to Durant’s injuries and Irving’s absence for the bulk of home games, but they did not look terribly effective with both playing either.

One issue the Nets may be running into is that Irving will not go just anywhere. Still, it may be a small price to pay to be free from the headaches.

Kyrie Irving reportedly has mutual interest with only 1 team

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly given Kyrie Irving permission to seek a trade, but that does not mean there is much interest in the star point guard. If Irving does choose to leave the team, it may be with one specific destination in mind.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News was told by sources that the Nets have given Irving the green light to pursue sign-and-trade scenarios. Irving has until Wednesday to decide if he will exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He could opt in and agree to an extension with the Nets to facilitate a sign-and-trade, but where?

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team that has shown interest in potentially trading for Irving. They do not have the salary cap space to sign Irving if he declines his option, though there has been some talk of Kyrie taking the $6 million mid-level exception to reunite with LeBron James.

The interest between the Lakers and Irving is said to be mutual. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Monday that there are people “very close to the situation who strongly believe Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers here and everything else is just (necessary) noise.”

Of course, the Lakers still have to figure out what to do with Russell Westbrook. The idea of Westbrook going to Brooklyn in some sort of trade involving Irving has been floated, but a Westbrook-Kevin Durant reunion seems unlikely. Though, the two seem to have settled any beef they had previously.

Speaking of beef, Irving has been openly critical of LeBron in the past. The two won a title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers before Irving decided he did not like being the second option behind James. He later came to appreciate how difficult it is to lead a team and apologized to LeBron. At the very least, all indications are that the two have not closed the door on playing together again.

Report: Nets unwilling to meet 1 Kyrie Irving request

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is likely looking to land a maximum contract extension from the Brooklyn Nets, but it does not sound like he is going to get it.

Irving has until Wednesday to decide if he will exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He is widely expected to decline it, which is why he and the Nets have been trying to work out a new contract. If Irving opts in, the Nets can sign him to a four-year, $196 million extension. If he declines the option, he would be eligible for a five-year, $248 million deal.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, neither max offer is coming. Lowe said on “Get Up” Monday morning that the Nets have taken a stand.

“They appear ready to actually take some kind of stand here,” Lowe said. “That doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a fair compromise offer somewhere, wherever that lands. We’ll see how that discussion evolves.”

This is not the first report we have heard claiming the Nets do not want to sign Irving to a long-term deal. They are understandably concerned about his injury history and all the off-court drama that surrounds him.

One theory is that Kevin Durant is playing hardball with the Nets in an attempt to help his friend Irving land a max deal. Unless something changes, that seems unlikely to work.

Draymond Green reacts to Kyrie Irving Lakers rumors

May 24, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game four of the 2022 Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green does have his eye on the rumors linking the Los Angeles Lakers to a potential Kyrie Irving trade.

In an interview with Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg, Green expressed skepticism about Irving possibly being traded by Brooklyn to the Lakers. Irving has a $36 million player option with the Nets and would likely only make around $6 million the Lakers.

Green is skeptical that Irving would turn down that much money. But if Irving did join the Lakers, Green sees them as contenders, but “they won’t beat us.”

This is actually a classic Green quote. He offers a fairly level-headed analysis of the situation, but concludes by affirming that it doesn’t actually matter and the Warriors would win anyway.

Green’s skepticism about Irving’s future is warranted, but there are some indications that he could legitimately leave the Nets. Whether the Lakers are a probable destination, even in that situation, is even less clear.

Situation between Kyrie Irving, Nets getting ‘acrimonious’

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The sour relationship between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets is only getting more sour. “Acrimonious” even.

That was the word ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski used to describe the growing dissent between the two parties on Friday. And by all accounts, an ugly divorce with added ramifications appears to be looming.

“Listen, people try to gain leverage,” Wojnarowski said. “If you’re Kyrie Irving, you’re trying to go get the Nets to give you a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money than they want to give. The Nets are trying to go in the other direction—shorter deal, incentivized, because he just hasn’t been on the floor as much as they’d like the couple years.

“This is getting acrimonious, and I think that’s the concern when you look at not just Kyrie Irving’s future in Brooklyn, but Kevin Durant’s future and whether they can hold this thing together right now.”

Irving, who holds a $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season, has also reportedly given the Nets a list of six destinations he’d prefer if a deal cannot be reached.

The 30-year-old Irving, who averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists, has until Wednesday to pick up or decline the option.

Clippers president has telling quote about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the teams Kyrie Irving would reportedly welcome a trade to if the Brooklyn Nets move him, but that interest may not be mutual.

Clippers president Lawrence Frank was asked about the key qualities the team would take into account when considering potential trades. Frank said “basketball character” was hugely important to the Clippers. He suggested that reliability and commitment are key factors the team would assess.

“Basketball character is, can you be counted on every single day to do what you do at the highest level, and how committed are you through those habits?” Frank said. “I think all those things are leadership skills.”

Frank never mentioned Irving. Perhaps he was not necessarily trying to send a message. Considering the Nets have reportedly had some reservations about giving Irving a long-term deal because of commitment concerns, it’s hard to imagine the Clippers being eager to add him based on Frank’s stated priorities.

Irving has reportedly given the Nets a list of six teams he would welcome a trade to if he is moved. The Clippers are one of those teams. But if they stick to Frank’s words, they might not have real interest.