The Brooklyn Nets‘ 2021-22 regular season tips off in less than a week, and they appear set on moving forward without Kyrie Irving for the foreseeable future while the star point guard remains skeptical about getting vaccinated.
On Tuesday, general manager Sean Marks announced that Irving won’t play for the organization until he gets vaccinated and is able to be a full participant in team activities, including practices and both home and away games.
It’s unclear if the Nets are willing to wait this out and hope that Irving will eventually cave.
Or, and this scenario grows more feasible with each passing week, do they shop him in potential trades if his mindset doesn’t change?
It’s anyone’s guess how this saga will play out, but Bill Simmons, founder of The Ringer, is already stoking the trade rumors.
In the latest episode of his podcast, Simmons floated a trade scenario that would send Irving to the San Antonio Spurs.
Bill Simmons thinks a Kyrie Irving-Spurs trade is feasible.
“What if they traded Irving to San Antonio and got, I don’t know, (Dejounte) Murray back and and two contracts?” Simmons speculated.
After co-host Ryen Russillo questioned how any team in the NBA could trade for Irving with his status for this season very much up in the air, Simmons noted that the Spurs don’t have an “A-lister” on the team.
That’s a fair point, and we’d piggyback off that by noting that the state of Texas is HIGHLY unlikely to enforce a vaccine mandate. We hate to get political, but that’s something to consider here. If the Spurs sniffed around a potential trade for Irving, they wouldn’t have to worry about him having to sit out.
Having said that, San Antonio would have to consider whether Irving would, in fact, retire if he’s traded out of Brooklyn. Those rumors seemed ludicrous at first, but they’ve grown increasingly practical as this saga has dragged on.
As far as the Nets are concerned, the Spurs do have some intriguing trade chips. At this point, Brooklyn doesn’t need anymore star power. Murray, for instance, could slot right into the starting PG role so that offseason addition Patty Mills could revert to his familiar off the bench as the team’s sixth-man.
Murray is coming off a career-year in which he averaged 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.3% from the floor. In order to match salaries, the Spurs would have to throw another contract or two to Brooklyn — maybe an Al-Farouq Aminu and Jakob Poeltl, who’ll combine to make roughly $20 million this year.
Throw Murray’s $15.4 million salary into the mix and you have a sum that aligns with Irving’s $35.28 million earnings.
Again, we’re just spit-balling here, but the Spurs are one of few teams in the league that qualify as a “realistic” landing spot for Irving.
A little something to think about from the aggregators.