Some executives around the NBA have been wondering this week if the upcoming trade deadline will be quiet. However, as someone warned, all it takes to turn things around is one team willing to blow it up and start a domino effect across the league. In this case, it would probably be a single player.
In a decision that could have a significant impact not only on the Brooklyn Nets, but on the entire league, Kyrie Irving has requested a deal from the organization, according to a the athleteThe Sharanian Sun. Irving told the Nets he plans to leave in July as a free agent if the team fails to transfer him before the next week’s February 9 trade deadline.
bubble. Just like that, the NBA has a situation that could be the fuse of a trade deadline. If the Nets move in from Irving, the Suns are expected to be one of the potential suitors, along with the Lakers and Mavericks. Over the coming days, Phoenix will need to evaluate a long list of factors to determine how much, if any, to offer the All-Star guard.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have emerged as potential suitors for starting Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving, according to sources. @tweet @stadium.
– Shams Charania February 3, 2023
Kyrie Irving Trade Request: Where Does It Fit? What does that mean for networks?
The Suns could theoretically put together a multi-player trade package, but the acquisition of Irving would only make sense if the Suns intended to include Chris Paul in the deal. If Irving is seriously charged by Phoenix, Paul’s age will likely significantly influence the decision. Although CP3’s age was notable, he will turn 38 during the upcoming playoffs and won’t be able to appear alongside Devin Booker forever. At some point, likely in the relatively near future, the Suns will need to find a second ocean play builder more in line with Booker’s schedule.
This does not mean that they need to move on from Paul now, nor does it necessarily mean that they should. After a slow start to the season riddled with injuries, Paul has started to look very much like his age (or youth) lately, helping the Suns win six of their last seven games in January. Paul had some unusual flops by his standards, including a three-point effort against the Hawks Wednesday, but he averaged 18.6 points and 7.9 assists per game during the month of January, and once again looks capable of running the Suns at a high level. Extremely. Even without the injured Devin Booker and Cam Johnson, Paul led the Suns to their seventh win in their last nine games on Friday, with 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and no turnovers against the Celtics.
“Phoenix do a great job managing the game with their offense and their ability to execute,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzola said after the game.
Nobody does it better than Paul.
About Paul, the Suns need to know where their franchise is. After collapsing early in Booker’s prolonged absence with a hip injury, they have settled themselves and are still out of home court advantage in the Western Open Conference. How much juice can they squeeze out of the existing pulp? Will they still be contenders for the tournament once Poker is healthy and able to get another rotation player or players via the Jay Crowder deal?
As they try to predict the answers to those questions, new owner Matt Ishpia, whose acquisition of the franchise is expected to become official before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, looms as a new variable in those conversations. How Much Control Will the Suns Have in Basketball Decision Making? How eager is he to make big changes?
Kyrie Irving’s Trade Order throws Webs into a familiar place: chaos
After advancing to the 2021 NBA Finals, the Suns looked like the best team in the league throughout the 2021-22 regular season, but many questions arose about the team after they dropped a disastrous Game 7 against Dallas in the second round of the playoffs. Crowder’s disagreements with the organization, which kept him from the team all season, left him with a hole in the roster, and Booker’s prolonged absence was magnified. Indeed, the Suns looked like a force early in the season when Booker was healthy, but how early they struggled without him could raise doubts within the organization about this team’s competitive chances. If they can’t compete for a title, what happens next?
In pure basketball terms, Irving fits the specifications for the type of player the Suns should be looking to acquire as Paul’s successor. At the age of 30, Irving still had plenty of years to play at a high level, assuming his body could hold up. He averaged 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game this season for a 31-20 Nets team that is fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. Irving has a rare talent. He can thrive on or off the ball. He can dig 3 pointers or reach into the rack. It ends like a wizard on edge. He possesses one of the most complete offensive skill sets in NBA history. A fully realized version of him would fit nicely with any great winger, including Booker.
As charming as Irving can be with the ball in his hands, any team considering running towards him should think deeply about the negative impact he is likely to have inside the locker room. He has brought dissatisfaction and dysfunction to every single one of his NBA hiatus. He requested a trade from the Cavaliers after they appeared in three consecutive Finals. After announcing he intended to re-sign with the Celtics, he helped break out the locker room before leaving for Brooklyn in free agency. He stunned when on the court with the Nets, but once again left a trail of chaos behind.
Most recently, the Nets in November suspended Irving for at least five games without pay after he posted a link to a documentary promoting anti-Semitic views on his social media accounts, then repeatedly refused to apologize for doing so. He ended up missing eight games. At the time, Irving was deemed “unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets” by the team.
When healthy, the Nets have squashed teams since Irving returned from that suspension. However, now he wanted to trade. Even if that decision is largely related to his contract extension negotiations, it’s another data point that the next mess is always close when Irving is around.
As talented as he is, his acquisition can often go wrong.
(Photo by Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul: Mark J. Repelas / USA Today)
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