Irving wanted to move from his hometown team Nets, with less than a week left before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, according to multiple reports.
The Nets reportedly offered an extension filled with guarantee stipulations, which Irving rejected, according to The Athletic.
A few hours before the news broke out, Irving posted a cryptic tweet.
Irving is eligible for a four-year extension worth up to $200 million. But the Nets were hesitant to give that following their troubled history with Irving, who’s become a magnet of controversy since he bolted out of Cleveland in 2017.
Irving remains one of the NBA’s biggest stars on the court, averaging 27.1 points and 5.3 assists. But off the court, Irving is a ticking time bomb, a PR disaster waiting to explode.
After missing the majority of last season due to his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, Irving once again stirred controversy after posting a link to a film with antisemitic tropes. The 30-year-old star was subsequently suspended for eight games.
Irving also requested a trade last summer, but as his market shrunk due to his controversial past and volatility, no team, except for a desperate Los Angeles Lakers team that wanted to get rid of Russell Westbrook. But the Nets were not amenable so Irving agreed to return in what essentially is a proving-myself contract year.
Then the antisemitism scandal happened.
It remains unclear if the Lakers are still interested after Westbrook continues to thrive in a Sixth Man role.
If Irving is traded, Kevin Durant’s situation bears watching. Durant also sought a trade in the offseason due to his doubts about the Nets’ ability to build a winning team.
The Nets were believed to be under no pressure to extend Irving, but after talks bogged down, they are now under pressure to trade him if they still want to salvage their once promising season.
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