Kyrie Irving had a complicated relationship with the Brooklyn Nets this year.
On one hand, when he was active on the court, he was superb. His 26.9 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting from the field, 40.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and 92 percent shooting from the free throw line spoke for itself. The 6 assists and 5 rebounds he’d chip in each outing were just icing on the cake. The 29-year-old was and is an objectively incredible basketball player.
However, he comes with a lot of baggage.
As a result of that baggage, according to Matt Sullivan, who penned “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow,” a trade of some sort involving Irving is very much a feasible proposition.
Sullivan recently appeared on the Celtics Lab podcast and went into some detail about why this is the case.
“Let me give you guys a little news, I’m not sure that’s been out there,” he said.
“I’ve heard that Nets ownership was quite upset with Kyrie’s ‘pause,’ especially that maskless party that turned his psuedo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension. And in the last week I’ve heard rumblings – whispers, really, because cracking the Nets is kind of like breaking into the Kremlin, that Brooklyn GM Sean Marks would maybe, possibly, apparently be willing to at least listen to a trade offer for Kyrie this offseason.
“Now, I’m not sure what the market for Kyrie is at this point. It’s not like Ben Simmons giving you the headache on the court. It’s that complex personality that comes from off the court. I think it’s been annoying some people in the franchise. I can’t speak to his teammates, who obviously want to play with one of the world’s best and get him back there.”
Irving has had a crazy last few months. He got hurt in the Nets’ playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, culminating in his squad getting bounced from the postseason. Prior to that he was involved in a messy debacle that left some calling for his arrest.
And that’s to say nothing of all the issues Sullivan brought up, which occurred prior to the incidents mentioned above.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
All in all, the likelihood that Brooklyn actually moves Irving seems small. It will be extremely hard to get fair value back for him. Plus, on the court – he is an undeniable beast.
But at a certain point franchises do sometimes make the determination that a player isn’t worth the headache that accompanies him. Will that end up happening with Irving and the Nets at some point? Time will tell.