The Brooklyn Nets might be positioned near the top of the Eastern Conference yet again, but they are doing so without the services of Kyrie Irving. Due to New York City’s vaccination requirements, Irving has been deactivated due to his failure to comply with the mandate and protect himself against COVID-19.
Trading Irving would’ve sounded like an inconceivable situation just a few months ago, but considering that he is providing as much value to the Nets on the court as you and I are at this point in time, flipping him for extra assets may not be the worst thing in the world.
While Ben Simmons was once thrown out as a player who could make the trip to Brooklyn in an Irving swap, the idea of that coming to fruition appears to have fizzled out. In fact, it doesn’t sound like anyone around the league is particularly interested in taking Irving away from Brooklyn.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype is reporting that an unnamed NBA executive claimed other teams are “scared to death” by the prospect of trading for Irving. Turns out that leaving a team built to win a championship in the name of an ill-conceived protest might sour your reputation around the league.
The Brooklyn Nets might have a hard time trading Kyrie Irving.
“Honestly, it might’ve been four teams before this,” the executive said. “He’s a guy that front offices don’t trust. Coaches don’t want to deal with him. Players like him.”
That’s a pretty damning quote, as it appears Irving’s actions have made him radioactive to many decision-makers across the NBA.
Irving has not yet burned every bridge in sight, however. According to Steve Nash, the Nets would welcome the point guard back immediately if either he got his shot or New York City got rid of their vaccine mandate.
Even though the Nets are not operating at peak efficiency right now due to the loss of Irving, the combination of Kevin Durant and James Harden is more than good enough to pick up some wins against most of the teams in the league consistently. The Irving rumors won’t just die down, though, until he gets his shot and returns to the Nets.
The Nets have inadvertently been stuck in a very unflattering situation. They’re paying Irving a ton of money, yet he is refusing to play for the team and the franchise lacks an exit plan that would help them get assets in exchange for him. Let’s just hope he gets the shot and comes back as soon as possible.