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Kyrie Irving not worth the risk after shocking trade demand from the Nets: Brian Robb

Kyrie Irving not worth the risk after shocking trade demand from the Nets: Brian Robb

The NBA probably caters to more stars than any other pro league and there’s no better example than Kyrie Irving’s career progression over the past decade. Irving pulled himself out of a competitive position in Cleveland and moved a second away in Boston to team up with his best friend and arguably the best player on the planet, Kevin Durant.

Less than four years later, Irving is poised to walk out the door with just one playoff series win for the team that shredded its roster to land him and Durant. Irving, 30, delivered an ultimatum to the organization on Friday after contract talks with the Nets reportedly turned sour because they no longer wanted to treat Irving like a superstar and offered him the maximum extension without any conditions.

Brooklyn’s problems with Irving on the floor have been well documented, but the fact remains that his play on the floor is no longer a true No. 1 or No. 2 option on a contender. He is a defensive liability due to his size and lack of discipline on that end of the floor. They have the best playoff track record since 2017, with not many ugly shows in major venues.

His demand leaves the Nets with an impossible choice for the time being. They could try to pull off Irving’s bluff, keep him for a year and hope he changes his mind about staying. Although in that scenario, it’s hard to imagine him giving 100 percent when he already has eyes wandering for his new home. We saw how that worked during the Celtics’ ugly 2018 playoff run.

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The wisest move (if Durant fixes it) is probably to move on from Irving now that the team has come up with something for him and gotten full buy-in from the remainder of their roster. The problem for the Nets is that Irving’s track record and age now really nullify any sort of value he may have.

There are desperate teams out there that feel they need a spark to compete (Lakers, Heat, Mavs) but what signals now is that Irving could be the guy that takes those teams to the next level when He couldn’t do it with Kevin Durant. With a spotty injury history and an undersized guard aging well into his 30s, none of these suitors should consider maxing out this guy right now without seeing how he looks in his new home .

The NBA is a league of stars, but Irving has no longer earned the benefit of the doubt in that role. Maybe one team can convince him to make his deal for them with the promises of another, but it’s the only way it makes sense for the team to make a move for the All-Star. Otherwise, his baggage and track record are not worth the risk.

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