Irving, cars parked on parking lot during daytime

Kyrie Irving publicly requests trade ahead of NBA trade deadline

Kyrie Irving has told sources at ESPN that he wants a trade after failure to extend his contract with the Nets. The three teams that have currently expressed interest in the eight-time NBA All-Star are the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, and the Miami Heat. 

To say that Irving has had a controversial 2022-23 National Basketball Association (NBA) season would be an understatement. In November, the New Jersey native made antisemitic comments on Twitter which got him suspended from the team and also missed time last season for not being vaccinated and unable to play home games until the vaccine mandate was lifted. These are two big reasons why the Nets have been hesitant to extend his contract. Irving is not the first player to want out of Brooklyn. In fact, he is the third superstar to do so after Kevin Durant expressed a trade this past offseason, as well as former Nets superstar James Harden who requested a trade during the 2022 season and was successfully moved to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Now with the teams interested in Irving, this trade will determine the future of the Brooklyn Nets and how their next few years will look. According to Yahoo, this is what the teams have on their plates when it comes to landing the superstar guard. The Lakers are looking to possibly package Russell Westbrook with their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks for Irving as well as Joe Harris. A trade with the Lakers could potentially help the Nets with their future, but it certainly will not help Durant if he is looking to win now.

The Dallas Mavericks have been looking into a trade for Irving, in order to give superstar Luka Doncic a second superstar on the court and a better chance to win it all during the playoffs. However, the deal is not likely to happen as players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Theo Pinson, along with Mavericks front office members who know Irving from their own experiences in Brooklyn may not feel comfortable with bringing in Irving due to the controversies that Irving has caused.

In terms of the Phoenix Suns, they may be looking to acquire a new point guard as a potential replacement and successor to Chris Paul, with Fred VanVleet and D’Angelo Russell as possible targets for the Suns. With Irving on the trading block, the Suns have their eyes set on Irving but it is likely he will not land on the Suns. The Miami Heat have expressed an interest in a trade for Irving but it may require moving one of their core pieces such as Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, or Tyler Herro. It is possible to move Kyle Lowry in replacement for Irving but the likelihood of that remains to be seen.

With Irving potentially gone from the Nets soon, only time will tell how this will affect the team. There will be a drastic change in the lineup, depending on who the Nets acquire from the teams interested in Irving. Will we see a reunion between Westbrook and Durant? The two have had their fair share of controversy amongst themselves after Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016. The two first-round picks sound like the Nets could be building around future superstars and risk losing Durant in replacement for potentially creating new superstars. Could Doncic get the help he needs while giving the Nets an opportunity to build towards the future rather than win now? Will we see a new duo with Lowry and Durant and how would they fare together for the remainder of the season? 

The Nets currently own a 31-20 record and sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. This record is sure to change drastically post All-Star Break and the Nets playoffs chances are definitely in question now. A team that looked like definite playoff contenders in December now looks bleak with the potential loss of a superstar. With Durant coming back soon, he will have to adjust to a new team and will be without his former teammate. How that will affect the Nets remains to be seen but it is most likely that Durant will be the one who will have to carry the team coming off his knee injury.

The Nets look to face the Wizards on February 4 in what could look like Irving’s last few games remaining with the Nets.