Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have had rocky relationship during his four-year tenure.
He has been at odds with former Nets head coach Steve Nash, Nets general manager Sean Marks, and Nets owner Joseph Tsai. Now he has requested a trade and he wants it sooner rather than later. The All-Star starter is averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season for the Nets.
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
Lebron and Kyrie is the ruin Lakers fans want to see and possibly the whole NBA world wants to see, but that would also mean Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant reunion in Brooklyn.
Westbrook is currently making $47 million this season and Irving is making $36.9 million. Both players are on the last year of their contracts and would become free agents this summer. Irving is using that leverage to get his deal soon with the trade deadline being a week away on Feb. 9.
Irving and the Lakers expressed mutual interest this summer but talks died down after he decided to return to the Nets for the final year of his contract. He has helped them turned their season around after a rocky start and they now are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 31-20 record.
The Lakers doesn’t have any first-round picks until 2026, which could be a problem when trying to get a deal done for Irving.
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have shown frustration with point guard Kyle Lowry this season and are looking to move him before the deadline. Lowry averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 assists per game last season, and appeared in only 63 games.
The Heat and Kyle Lowry are "not seeing eye-to-eye," per @KendrickPerkins
(h/t @nonbiasednbafan ) pic.twitter.com/ZU7IteJPtt
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 2, 2023
He has started 44 of the team’s 53 games this season and his numbers have dipped once again. Lowry is averaging 12 points and 5.3 assists per game, which is his lowest since becoming a full-time starter in 2010.
Lowry is a 36-year-old point guard that looks to be past his prime. So, for that trade to work between them, the Nets the Heat would have to include another young player, possibly Tyler Herro, and possibly two first-round picks.
What’s Next For KD?
The biggest piece to this news is Durant, who has been out of the lineup since Jan. 8 with a right MCL sprain. When he envisioned himself and Irving joining the Nets in the summer of 2019, he likely had multiple championships in mind. That vision became brighter when they were able to acquire James Harden in January 2021, but it quickly flamed out when Harden was dealt after a trade request at last year’s trade deadline to the 76ers. Now history could repeat itself at this year’s tradeline if Irving demands are meet.
Durant is surely not going to stick around for a rebuild this late in his career. Ben Simmons is not the answer and doing enough offensively to be the Robin to Durant’s Batman.
The Nets will be forced to move Durant this offseason and get as much as possible in return to start their rebuild. Irving has made it clear that this is his last year in Brooklyn regardless of the outcome of his trade requests. That leaves the question of could Durant return to the Bay Area to play with the Warriors again?
Durant signed a four-year, $194.2 million extension with the Nets in August 2021, but he requested a trade last summer and now will probably be forced to revisit that trade request.