Kyrie Irving apparently ruffled some feathers within the Nets organization this season.
And in turn, Brooklyn reportedly could survey the trade market for the superstar point guard later this summer.
Matt Sullivan, author of “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets,” dropped that nugget in a recent appearance on the “Celtics Lab” podcast. The Nets’ reported frustration with Irving stems from the seven-time All-Star’s extended absences this season.
“Let me give you guys a little news, I’m not sure that’s been out there. I’ve heard that Nets ownership was quite upset with Kyrie’s ‘pause,’ especially that maskless party that turned his pseudo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension,” Sullivan said, as transcribed by Nets Wire of USA Today. “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.”
Sullivan’s comments shouldn’t be perceived as the Nets are looking to move Irving. An executive for any team, in any sport wouldn’t be during their job if they didn’t keep their eyes and ears open over the course of the offseason.
That said, Irving continues to be a consistent source of drama who frequently deals with injuries. If Brooklyn believes it can be a championship team with Kevin Durant and James Harden leading the way, the Nets theoretically could look to capitalize on Irving’s trade value to both round out the roster and set the franchise up well for the future.