In a surprising turn of events given the team’s recent play, Kyrie Irving has requested to be traded from the Nets ahead of next week’s trade deadline, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Irving has reportedly informed the team that if he isn’t moved by the trade deadline, he will leave in free agency this summer.
This latest news continues a roller coaster tenure for Irving in Brooklyn. He sat most of last season due to his stance on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, then reportedly was granted permission to seek a trade this past offseason, when Kevin Durant requested a trade before recommitting to the Nets. A trade was never made for Irving, and he returned, only to be suspended by the team after promoting a video containing anti-Semitic beliefs, to which he was initially unapologetic for, but eventually acknowledged his wrongdoing and was welcomed back to the team.
Since returning, Irving has been performing at an All-Star level, averaging 27.1 points per game with a 56.5 effective field goal percentage. He also leads the league in fourth quarter points, and has helped keep Brooklyn afloat while Durant has been sidelined with an injury.
Now, with Durant nearing a return, Irving reportedly wants out, shortly after his agent told Bleacher Report that they had reached out to the Nets about a contract extension, and that Irving wanted to make Brooklyn “home.” The trade request could be a result of the team not feeling the same about his long-term future, or it could simply be the latest drastic shift in what has been a dizzying tenure with the franchise.
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