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Kyrie Irving’s latest issues with Nets management has reportedly been revealed on the heels of the star guard’s bombshell request to be traded from the team prior to next week’s trade deadline.
Shortly after breaking the news of Irving’s request, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the recently-named All-Star starter took issue with the team including stipulations in a potential contract extension leading to a breakdown of talks in recent days. Charania also noted Irving, whose contract expires this offseason, believes he deserves a fully guaranteed contract, and is prepared to leave the Nets in free agency if he’s not moved by the Feb. 9 deadline.
“What’s happened in the last week or so is, I’m told, they’ve had contract extension negotiations and, from what I’m told, a contract extension was offered to Irving that had some stipulations in it. And I’m told that his side was vehemently against any stipulations in an extension,” Charania said during a Friday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.
Irving’s latest disagreement with the Nets adds to a saga that began last season when he played in just 29 games largely due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19. Earlier this season, the eight-time All-Star was suspended indefinitely by the team following his promotion of an antisemitic film and book on social media, which later led to Irving publicly apologizing for his actions after initially failing to do so.
Despite the ongoing issues, however, the Nets’s relationship with Irving appeared to be trending in the right direction after Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported last month that Irving wanted to stay in Brooklyn for the rest of his career. Friday’s news suggests that no longer appears to be the case, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after the news of the request that the two sides haven’t come close to an agreement.
Playing in his fourth season in Brooklyn, Irving has turned in an exceptional year thus far, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in his 40 games played. The 28-year-old has had to shoulder a heavier lead since Kevin Durant sustained an MCL sprain on Jan. 8, but the Nets (31–20) have managed to stay afloat in his absence and are currently in fourth place in the East.