Nets 'Willing To At Least Listen' To Trade Offers For Kyrie Irving In 2021 Offseason

Kyrie Irving making plays for the Nets
Gettyimages | Sarah Stier
Basketball

After successfully creating the "Big Three" of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets immediately became the heavy favorite to fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2020-21 NBA season. Unfortunately, the "Big Three" has struggled to stay healthy resulting in the Nets' second-round elimination at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

After they failed to achieve their main goal, rumors have started to swirl around the Nets' "Big Three" and their future in Brooklyn.

Nets Testing The Market For Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving having an argument with Kevin Durant
Gettyimages | Sarah Stier

In a recent appearance on Celtics Lab podcast, Matt Sullivan, author of “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow,” talked about Irving and his potential departure from the Nets in the 2021 offseason. After annoying some members of the organization during the season, Sullivan revealed that the Nets are "willing to at least listen" to offers for Irving this summer.

"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 maskless party that turned his psuedo-paternity leave into more like a COVID suspension," Sullivan said, as quoted by 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."

Kyrie Irving Violated COVID-19 Safety Protocols In January

Kyrie Irving running the Nets' offense
Gettyimages | Sarah Stier

Sullivan was referring to the incident that happened in mid-January. Irving had already missed five consecutive games due to personal reasons when videos of him surfaced on the internet. According to ESPN, the Nets' point guard was shown in the videos smiling, maskless, and dancing while standing next to his sister, Asia, who seemed to be celebrating her birthday party. After violating the league's COVID-19 safety protocols, Irving was suspended for more games and forced to pay a fine worth approximately $900,000.

Kyrie Irving's Situation Different From Ben Simmons-Sixers Dilemma

Irving's situation in Brooklyn isn't the same as the ongoing drama between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. While Simmons was heavily criticized for his poor performance on the court, Sullivan said that the Nets' frustration with Irving was mostly about his "complex personality" off the court.

Comparing the markets for both point guards, it would be easier for the Nets to find a trade partner for Irving, especially if he manages to fully recover from his injury in the 2021 offseason.

Nets' Asking Price For Kyrie Irving

Even if Sullivan's revelations are true, interested teams will still be needing to pay the Nets the king's ransom in order to convince them to trade Irving. Despite his off-court issues, Irving remains one of the best point guards in the league. This season, the 29-year-old superstar averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

In the potential deal involving Irving, the Nets are expected to demand a combination of young players and multiple first-round picks or another All-Star caliber player that would complement Durant and Harden.