What does Kyrie Irving actually want from the Nets?

On November 20, Kyrie Irving returned to the court after an eight-game absence, a punishment. for promoting an anti-Semitic film on their social media accounts.

At the time, there were questions in the NBA about whether the Brooklyn Nets could survive the circus he had created and whether Irving’s NBA career was in jeopardy.

It didn’t take long for Irving to quell those concerns. Part of the reason is that he has played some of the best basketball of his career, averaging 27.1 points per game on 48.6% shooting for a Nets team that, at 31-20, s has consolidated as one of the contenders to leave the party. East.

But also, and more importantly, upon his return, Irving was clearly concerned with being on his best behavior. There were no passive-aggressive comments, no shy tweets.

All this lasted for two months.

Jan. 25, said Irving’s agent, Shetellia Irving Bleacher Report that he had “reached out” to the Nets about a contract extension — Irving’s current contract is expected to expire after this season — and that “the ball is in the Nets’ court to communicate now if their desire is the same.”

What did Irving want? A four-year max deal, which would be worth around $200 million.

This was the first bombshell, apparently dropped in an effort to publicize the negotiations and scare the Nets. Apparently, that didn’t work, because on Friday, Irving informed the Nets that he wants to be traded before Thursday’s trade deadline and that if he isn’t traded, he plans to leave in free agency.

The irony is that the Nets, after replacing head coach Steve Nash with Jacque Vaughn, have stabilized and have all the makeup of a championship contender, thanks in part to Vaughn’s imploring of his center team -se in matters on the court instead of off. -judicial drama

But Irving has once again shown where his priorities lie.

Colin Cowherd reacts to Kyrie Irving’s trade request.

Colin Cowherd reacts to Kyrie Irving's trade request.

So where does this all go from here?

The Nets could accept Irving’s request, but it’s hard to find any reason to do so. Irving isn’t exactly a player that other teams are fighting over. We saw that over the summer, when the team’s negotiations over an extension to Irving’s contract initially broke down. Irving received permission from the Nets to hit the market for a sign-and-trade option. Instead, he picked up the one-year player option on his contract.

In other words, the market for their services was not there.

There’s no reason to think it would be any different now. Everything Irving has done since then adds to his resume as an agent of mayhem. We’ve already heard contending teams pitched, including the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns , but it’s hard to imagine any of those franchises, or almost any, willingly landing Irving.

That said, Irving’s talent is undeniable, and there are two teams in desperate need of an infusion of talent: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks. Both are likely outside the current circle of contention, and both likely think adding Irving would change that.

What could these teams give up? For the Mavericks it would be a package centered around Spencer Dinwiddie. For the Lakers, it would be Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick for Irving and Joe Harris, whose salary would be required because Westbrook’s head number is so high.

You can see why the Lakers and Mavs would be in these deals. But we’ll ask ourselves again: what’s in it for the Nets?

We’ve already seen the Nets basically ignore a trade request from a star. Remember back in the summer when Kevin Durant asked to be traded? Remember how the Nets handled it?

The Nets know their relationship with Irving is in its final stages. They know this whole KD-Kyrie superteam experiment is coming to an end. They also know that, when healthy, their current group is good enough to win a title, and that if Irving wants a max deal, he’ll have to play well for the rest of the season, and that there won’t be a deal for Irving. to make them better on the court.

The best the Nets can do is ignore Irving’s request, play out the season, and then move on from Irving’s expiring contract in the summer.

Yaron Weitzman is an NBA writer for FOX Sports and the author of Closing in on the top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the boldest run in professional sports history. Follow him on Twitter @YaronWeitzman.

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