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Kyrie Irving requests trade from Nets with deadline looming

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving earned his eighth all-star selection by averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The short-lived peace between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets was broken Friday when the all-star guard requested a trade, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

Irving, 30, made the request with less than one week to go before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline as talks regarding a possible contract extension reportedly stalled. In an interview with Bleacher Report last week, Irving’s agent said that the star guard wanted to remain in Brooklyn but that the two sides have had “no significant conversations to date.” The Athletic first reported Irving’s trade request.

Irving explored possible trade scenarios in the summer before picking up his $36.5 million player option for this season. At the time, interest from outside suitors was tepid, in part because of Irving’s season-long refusal to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, which limited him to 29 appearances in 2021-22.

While Irving has enjoyed good health and a productive season on the court, the Nets suspended him for eight games in November for promoting an antisemitic film on social media and refusing to disavow antisemitism.

That controversy prompted speculation that Irving might not rejoin the Nets, but he returned Nov. 20 and has played in all but three games since. Irving erupted for a season-high 48 points in a Jan. 20 win over the Utah Jazz, and he was selected as a starter for the 2023 All-Star Game last week. Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season, and he has helped keep the Nets afloat during Kevin Durant’s ongoing absence with a knee sprain.

Irving’s potential trade value is bound to be affected by his off-court controversies, contract status, history of minor injuries and underwhelming postseason showings in recent years. The eight-time all-star, who teamed up with Durant in Brooklyn in 2019, is on track to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Durant also requested a trade from the Nets during the summer, citing concerns about their culture, but rejoined the team before training camp. Brooklyn, which holds a 31-20 record and the Eastern Conference’s No. 4 seed entering Friday, has thrived under Coach Jacque Vaughn after it parted ways with Steve Nash just seven games into this season.

The Nets made a blockbuster trade at last year’s deadline, sending a disgruntled James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package that included Ben Simmons.

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