The Brooklyn Nets fell disappointingly short of contending for an NBA title. The early playoff departure shifts the conversation over to star guard Kyrie Irving‘s future in Brooklyn. As the chatter persists, Irving may have subtly responded to outside noise.
Rumors float around concerning Kyrie Irving’s future in Brooklyn
Since Irving departed from the Cavaliers, drama followed him in his last two NBA stops.
It didn’t take long for internal conflict to arise in Brooklyn as the 2020-21 season featured some difficult moments involving the star guard. His extended absence from the team due to personal matters didn’t rub the organization the right way.
Mike Mazzeo of Forbes indicated Irving elected to leave head coach Steve Nash out of communication regarding the situation. The handling of it all put a hamper on the dialogue between Nash and his star guard.
These internal issues guided the matter to Matt Sullivan, who wrote “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow” to report general manager Sean Marks may entertain trading Irving.
“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 mask-less party that turned his pseudo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension,” Sullivan said per Nets Wire. “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.”
It marks the first time Irving’s name was mentioned in potential trade rumors since he joined the Nets. The report clarifies Brooklyn may listen to trade offers for the seven-time All-Star, which it didn’t take long for the 29-year-old to respond.
Kyrie Irving responds to possible trade rumors
Over the last few years, Irving has become no stranger to trade rumors floating around.
“Write it down, work in silence, then make it look effortless,” Irving wrote.
Irving has never directly discussed rumors as he’s built a contentious relationship with the media in recent years. Before the 2020-21 season, he attempted to avoid talking with the press due to his past issues with specific questions directed toward him.
All indications point to Irving holding a strong desire to play in Brooklyn alongside Durant and Harden. He’s set to enter the third year of his four-year, $136.4 million deal, including holding a $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season.
The 29-year-old is focused on returning healthy to help guide the Nets into NBA title contention next season. His ankle injury against the Bucks significantly handicapped the Nets’ chance for a deep playoff push.
Like years past, Irving will chug forward with his sole focus on what he can control and not on the outside noise.
Brooklyn will decide the path ahead
The Nets are heading into a disappointing offseason, falling well short of contending for an NBA title.
Injuries wound up playing the most significant factor with Irving and Harden compromised due to health issues. As a result, the focus moving forward will be toward building the roster around their Big three core.
Beyond that, the only thing that will prevent a strong title push is health issues. Expect the Nets to make a concerted effort to construct a roster that can reach the ultimate goal.
Contract figures courtesy of Sportrac.