Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, a day after he told the team he would like to be traded.
The Nets said Irving’s absence was due to a sore right calf, adding him to the injury report for their game against Washington. Irving was not listed on the report either Friday night or Saturday morning.
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Irving was A contract extension has been requested as recently as last week, with his agent and stepmother, Shetellia Irving, saying “the ball is in the Nets’ court.” With no deal in hand, Irving expressed his desire to move on Friday, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press.
While his wish list of potential destinations hasn’t been made public, Irving has looks like he’s still interested when playing for lakers, who explored a trade for him last summer. In addition to the Lakers, the Mavericks, alone i heat have also shown interest in Irving, for multiple reports.
This latest development comes seven months after his teammate and close friend Kevin Durant he asked the Nets for one last offseason before withdrawing the request before the start of the 2022-23 season. Irving remains productive on the court, averaging 27.1 points and 5.3 assists per game to earn him another All-Star hoop.
The 12-year veteran was embroiled in controversy last November, however, when he shared a link to an anti-Semitic documentary, and initially did not apologize or denounce the film. Brooklyn suspended Irving and returned to the lineup after missing eight games.
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The Nets, who are still playing without Durant because of a sprained knee ligament, have two more games after Saturday before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.
Irving signed with the Nets prior to the 2019-20 season. After a shoulder injury cut his debut season with the Nets to just 25 games, Irving, along with Durant, returned the following season to turn Brooklyn into one of the best teams in basketball. He scored 26.9 points per game in 2020-21 as the Nets, who added James Harden earlier in the season, he went 48-24. They fell to the Bucks in the conference semifinals, after both Irving and Harden were plagued by injuries.
Irving then missed the first two-plus months of the following season: he was ineligible to play at home in New York City and the Nets would not allow him to play on the road. In January, Brooklyn changed his position against Irving playing part-time, and he returned in March. The Nets, however, ended up with a seventh seed and were swept in the first round by the Boston Celticsone of Irving’s old teams.
Entering the 2022 offseason, it was unclear whether Irving would remain in Brooklyn amid Durant’s lackluster form. Seeking an extension, Irving was surrounded by heavy trade speculation before accepting his $37 million player option for the final season of his four-year contract.
The Nets are 31-20 this season and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Durant has been out of the lineup since Jan. 8 with a knee injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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