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Report: Nets have taken calls on Kyrie Irving, trade remains long shot at best

Michael Holley and Michael C. Wright wonder why the reigning NBA champions are getting so little respect as repeat contenders after a survey showed that GMs overwhelmingly favor the Nets and Lakers over the Bucks.

One NBA team’s problem can be another GM’s chance to try and swoop in and steal a good player for next to nothing. It’s the way of the NBA.

So it’s not surprising other GMs have called Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks about Kyrie Irving, something ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on NBA Countdown before the Nets and 76ers game Friday night.

“Brooklyn, I’m told, has taken incoming calls from teams on Kyrie Irving. They have not themselves made any calls on Kyrie Irving.”

It remains highly unlikely an Irving trade would get done.

Irving has a player option he is expected to exercise after this season, meaning he can and likely will become a free agent (the Nets had talked contract extension with Irving but pulled that offer with Irving away from the team due to his vaccination status and the New York City vaccine mandate). Any team that would trade for Irving needs to be able to re-sign him, or he would be just a half-season rental, and Irving is too unpredictable for a team to bet much he would re-sign with them. There also would be concerns about how Irving might blend into an established locker room.

All of which means any trade offer for Irving would be pennies on the dollar considering his immense talent. The Nets aren’t going to take that; they would rather wait it out and see if Irving eventually changes his mind and rejoins the team (or New York drops its vaccine mandate because the health situation in the city improves to that point, something seen as highly unlikely during this NBA season and playoffs timeframe).

The other factor would be the approval of Kevin Durant (and likely James Harden as well). Durant and Irving came to the Nets as a package deal, the Nets are the most player-empowered team in the league, there is no way an Irving trade would even be seriously discussed without at least tacit approval from Durant to move on from Irving. That also seems a long shot.

There will be speculation, other GMs will make calls, but a Kyrie Irving trade anywhere remains a long shot. At best.