Report: Kyrie Irving Requests Trade from Nets; Will Leave in FA If Demand Not Met

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 3, 2023

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against the Boston Celtics during the first half at TD Garden on February 01, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

And here...we...go.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline and has informed the team he will not re-sign with it over the summer in free agency, according to multiple reports.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAthletic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAthletic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Stadium?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stadium</a>. 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.

Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes confirmed Irving asked out after the sides were unable to agree to a contract extension.

Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN Friday that Irving hadn't requested to be sent to any particular teams in his trade demand. The Los Angeles Times' Dan Woike wrote that the Lakers and a few other teams are interested:

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Fully expect the Lakers to have serious discussions about a possible Kyrie Irving trade.Reminder that his salary and Westbrook's aren't a match and the Nets would have to include more salary to make a trade work.

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

List of teams that are buzzing around some league circles right now - Lakers, Heat, Mavs - some are speculating about the Suns. Obviously, the Nets don't have to do anything either

Suffice to say, NBA Twitter had thoughts on the situation:

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball


Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

The Nets can't be normal for even one month.

Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

So… now that Kyrie Irving wants out from the Nets does Kevin Durant demand another trade? Or are KD and Kyrie just breaking up?

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA

They just went through a stretch where they won 18 out of 20. I'm freaking 💀

Mike Singer @msinger

That sound you hear is reporters hitting delete on their impending "underwhelming trade deadline" stories.

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

The obvious question is if the Lakers can construct a deal that would get the Nets interested. LA might be the only team willing to take on Kyrie under these circumstances.

While there are plenty of factors to consider involving Irving's relationship with the Nets, Friday's news appears to be an indication that the point guard and organization aren't seeing eye-to-eye in long-term extension discussions.

"Around Kyrie and staying with the Nets? I have reached out to the Nets regarding this," Irving's agent Shetellia Irving told Haynes on Jan. 25. "We have had no significant conversations to date. The desire is to make Brooklyn home, with the right type of extension, which means the ball is in the Nets' court to communicate now if their desire is the same."

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

"The Nets offered Kyrie Irving a contract extension that had some stipulations in it.. I'm told that his side was vehemently against any stipulations in an extension"<a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a> dives into Kyrie Irving's trade request <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/xBVFmM1jHA">pic.twitter.com/xBVFmM1jHA</a>

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

There were some talks on a new deal for Irving, but no deal was reached and a trade request was delivered to the organization today, sources tell ESPN. Irving can leave the franchise this summer as a free agent. <a href="https://t.co/vnNWbUW56S">https://t.co/vnNWbUW56S</a>

Trying to outline the full context of Irving's turbulent stay in Brooklyn is something of a Herculean task at this point, which has included a prolonged hiatus for unclear reasons, his inability to play home games in Brooklyn for five months of the 2021-22 season due to his COVID-19 unvaccinated status and his decision to amplify an antisemitic movie on his social media platforms and his subsequent reluctance to apologize for his actions.

But a breakup between Irving and the Nets appears imminent due to a contract showdown dating back to the summer. When the two sides couldn't settle on a long-term deal, the organization granted him permission to seek sign-and-trade scenarios and he ultimately exercised his player option for the 2022-23 season after a trade didn't materialize.

All of that happened under the backdrop of Kevin Durant requesting a trade of his own, though he ultimately rescinded that request and returned to the organization.

So it always seemed likely that Irving and the Nets were nearing a divorce. But when the Nets rattled off 18 wins in 20 games between late November and early January, it seemed like the team might finally be living up to the contender potential that had seemed so likely when Durant and Irving joined forces. Perhaps the Nets were finally stable.

But alas, it was merely a mirage. These Nets are never far from chaos, and Irving is yet again the central antagonist.