Kyrie Irving is a talent. But is the talent worth the baggage?
That continues to be the million-dollar question after Friday’s bombshell report that Irving wants to be traded before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.
Irving opted into his one-year player option that pays him a robust $36.9 million to remain in Brooklyn this season. But with the trade deadline less than one week away, the point guard has demanded a trade, saying he’s leaving via free agency after the season anyway – so they might as well move him now.
For all the massive baggage Kyrie comes with, he’s an undeniable hooper. Teams will be interested, especially those who are looking to win a title right now and consider Kyrie a half-season rental to get it done.
Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his NBA contacts developed over 20 years covering the sport to create these hypothetical NBA futures odds on Irving’s team following the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
Kyrie Irving Trade Odds
Odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on betting sites and betting apps.
Lingering tension between Irving and the Nets crushed the idea of the sides coming together on a max extension worth five years and $245.6 million. He’ll be a free agent after the season is done, but he doesn’t want to wait that long before finding a new team.
Irving, 30, is a superstar talent in an NBA trade market void of them. This season he’s averaging 27.1 points, 5.1. rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. The Nets are 31-20 going into Feb. 3 action and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, though they’re 4-7 since Kevin Durant (knee) was put on the shelf. They are still among the top contenders at +1400 for the title, according to New York betting apps.
But Kyrie’s durability, vaccination status, and other personal issues have limited him to only 103 out of a possible 226 regular season games with the Nets. Nobody can blame the Nets for being a little hesitant to offer a max deal to someone with his availability issues.
Another team, however, might.
The Heat want to win another title, but Kyle Lowry has not been the answer at this point. He could keep Brooklyn afloat, and a change of scenery could do him well. A swap of players helps with any salary cap concerns. The chief reason this won’t work in Miami is a direct competitor to Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference hierarchy.
The Timberwolves have stayed afloat without Karl-Anthony Towns because Anthony Edwards and Kyle Anderson have especially stepped up their play. The best way for a Minnesota team to get an All-Star player is through the draft or via trade, and they can dangle PG D’Angelo Russell back to Brooklyn.
The Mavericks reportedly showed some interest in Irving in the past as a possible solution to taking pressure off Luka Doncic. It’s a long shot, though.
Speaking of taking pressure off a star, the Wizards have seemingly been looking forever to add a 1A to Bradley Beal’s 1B. Point guard remains a huge need as well. Adding Irving solves both those problems, and for a team on the fringe of playoff contention, this might be the time to gamble. The Wizards’ draft capital for trades is subpar, however.
The Lakers have been in the conversation when it comes to Kyrie for more than a year. To make it work, however, either Anthony Davis or Russell Westbrook would have to be moved. L.A. doesn’t want to move A.D., and it’s tough to imagine Kevin Durant greenlighting a reunion with Westbrook. Never say never if that’s what LeBron wants.
The Clippers, too, could use a point guard to fill out a championship-calibre lineup. But they likely would need oft-injured PG John Wall to be a trade piece, and the Nets aren’t likely to be interested. L.A.’s salary cap situation practically prohibits a blockbuster trade at the deadline without Wall in the mix.
The Field includes teams that have a need for outside shooting and/or perimeter defense, but not necessarily from the point guard spot.
The Pelicans, Jazz, Bulls, and Nuggets fit into this scenario.
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