Stop us if you've heard this before: Kyrie Irving intends to abandon his team.
The Nets star has requested a trade out of Brooklyn prior to the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Friday. If the Nets don't trade Irving before Feb. 9, the All-Star guard plans to leave in 2023 free agency, per Charania.
Boston Celtics fans will recall a very similar scenario playing out just four years ago. Prior to the 2018-19 season, Irving announced to an arena full of fans at TD Garden that he intended to re-sign with the Celtics the following offseason.
But on Feb. 1, 2019 -- almost exactly four years ago to the day -- Irving changed his tune, responding, "Ask me July 1" when asked about his Celtics commitment. On July 7, Irving left Boston to sign a four-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
There was speculation prior to this season that Irving would decline his $37 million player option and pursue a sign-and-trade, but he decided to opt in and stay with the Nets instead. Brooklyn got off to a scorching start this season, winning 12 in a row in December to vault to second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have dropped seven of their last 11 games since Kevin Durant suffered a knee injury, however, and suffered an embarrassing 43-point loss to the Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday.
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Two days later, Irving apparently wants out of Brooklyn after failing to reach an agreement with the Nets on a new contract, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Whether the Nets can find a trade partner remains unclear, but the Los Angeles Lakers could emerge as a potential destination after preseason chatter about an Irving-Russell Westbrook swap.