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NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving Wants to Remain with Nets Despite Kevin Durant Trade Request

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 13, 2022

Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who exercised his 2022-23 player option to remain with the team for next season, wants to stay in town despite star teammate Kevin Durant's trade request, per a source to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

"How did we get into this situation about trade, when he opted in?" the source asked Lewis rhetorically.

"Here is the situation. He opted in, which means he had and he has every intention of playing with the Brooklyn Nets. KD decides he wants out and now everybody is talking about trading Kyrie, right?

"Kyrie has not asked for a trade. Now, if the Nets don't want him, that's something totally different. Kyrie has not said he wants a trade. He opted in. [So where did] the trade conversations come from? Is it because, KD requested a trade and now everybody's like let's trade Ky? Kyrie opted in."

Regardless of Irving's reported desire to stay in Brooklyn, the trade talks have been a daily talking point.

The seven-time All-Star has been heavily connected to the Los Angeles Lakers in trade talks, with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reporting July 2 that the Nets and L.A. had discussions surrounding Irving and Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst, on the Monday edition of Get Up! (h/t Nets Daily), provided the latest news on the Irving trade market.

"The market on Kyrie remains frozen. The only team known to have interest is the Los Angeles Lakers. and the Nets have given out the vibe they want to do a Kevin Durant trade first before moving on to Kyrie. So Kyrie will be welcome to games. Nets would be happy to have him attend summer league games but I think he's played his last game for the Brooklyn Nets."

Irving averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists last season. He was held to just 29 games after the Nets initially decided to hold him out of all games and practices until he was eligible to become a "full participant" in the wake of Irving's decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Nets had much promise in the preseason with Irving, Durant and James Harden all in tow, but Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February, KD wants to be traded and Irving is rumored to be traded, perhaps foreshadowing a complete blowup of the roster.

For now, Irving and Durant are both Nets as the offseason continues with summer league play and the continuation of free agency and trade talks.

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