Nothing has changed, and nothing is expected to change with Kyrie Irving in the near future. He is unvaccinated and unable to play in home games with the Nets, which led the team to tell him to stay away until he is fully eligible and all in. While Irving’s reasoning is specious at best, he is not one to change his mind when he thinks he is in the right, and the city of New York is not about to change its vaccine mandate. It’s a stalemate that has turned into a siege.
That has led some talking heads to suggest the Nets trade Irving, maybe for the 76ers Ben Simmons. But Philadelphia has zero interest in an Irving trade, and now comes the report an Irving trade anywhere is “dicey,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on the Woj Pod, hat tip to Alex Strum of Nets Daily.
Woj called the market for the seven-time All-Star “dicey” while adding that there are no talks between the Nets and 76ers about a Ben Simmons-for-Irving block buster … and he doesn’t think the Sixers will ever call.
There are a few challenges with trading Irving anywhere.
First, Irving’s camp has suggested he would retire if traded anywhere, and while that may be bluster, it will give teams pause. Second, and the most significant issue, Irving can opt-out of his contract and become a free agent this offseason, making him a potential rental for any team interested in him, so teams would offer only pennies on the dollar to Brooklyn in a trade. Third, Irving can be a challenge to manage and could be disruptive to a lot of locker rooms, leading teams to question if he is worth the trouble, despite his unquestioned skills.
Finally, there is Kevin Durant — he and Irving came to the Nets as a package deal, and by all reports their relationship is still strong. The Nets are the most player-friendly/player empowered team in the league, and they are not about to anger their best player by trading his buddy. Nothing happens without KD’s consent.
All of that has led to no meaningful Irving trade talk around the league, and it gives no incentive for the 76ers to pick up the phone. League sources told NBC Sports that maybe trade interest in Irving could pick up if this drags out closer to the trade deadline in February, but for now everything is quiet.
And it remains status quo with the Nets and Irving.