Despite Kyrie Irving being out due to the vaccine mandate and a plethora of other concerns, the Brooklyn Nets are still 15-6 and in first place in the East. Despite the pearl clutching by some, things are good in Brooklyn.
That said, there are concerns. Near the top of that list is the heavy minutes and load on the shoulders of Kevin Durant — a 33-year-old with an injury history — but Steve Nash was honest after the Knicks game and said his only other option is to play Durant less and accept some losses.
Irving is largely out of sight, out of mind. He is not a topic of discussion around the team even if his return would ease the Durant minutes concern. Other teams continue to call and try to talk Irving trade — that has been reported before — it’s just that those talks don’t go anywhere, reports Ian Begley at SNY.TV.
To that end, it’s worth noting that, as of late last month, Brooklyn remained open to talking trades involving Irving, per SNY sources… In the weeks following [the previous report], several teams said Brooklyn has continued to take that approach with the All-Star guard.
Don’t race to the trade machine, an Irving deal is not happening. While the past few years have shown us no player or contract is untradable in the NBA, Irving is very close to it.
Irving is making $34.9 million this season and has a player option for next season he is is expected to exercise, meaning he almost certainly will become a free agent this summer (the Nets had talked contract extension with Irving but pulled that offer). That makes him a very expensive rental, unless a team is going to re-sign him, then he is just very expensive. Even if a team had both the interest and the salary to trade for Irving, the fact he could walk after this season lowers his value. The Nets would get pennies on the dollar, and they are not going to do that for a talent like Irving.
The bottom line: Nothing is changing. Unless Irving has a change of heart or New York City lifts the vaccine mandate — don’t bet on that option — the status quo will continue for the foreseeable future.
Also in that article, Begley confirms what we all know: The 76ers and their GM Daryl Morey would love to trade for James Harden.
Nets people who would need to be aware of Harden’s future were well aware that Philadelphia loomed as a potential suitor for the guard, SNY sources say.
Why would the Nets even consider that? So they can get their hands on Ben Simmons?
Harden will opt-out of his deal and be a free agent this summer, but has said how much he likes playing with Durant and in Brooklyn. The Nets can offer more money and more years than any other team, they are contenders, and the organization gives the players a lot of power. Why exactly is he leaving?
Morey can want what he wants, but Harden will do what is best for Harden.