To start the new NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets have become arguably the most underwhelming team in the league. With this, talks around the NBA community have steadily increased on how the front office should pivot to shape their uncertain future, especially when it pertains to Kyrie Irving.
Durant remains the Nets' most prized possession
Boasting the star power of Irving, Ben Simmons, and Kevin Durant, the Nets were anticipated to be among the elite in the Eastern Conference before the season tipped off. Unfortunately for the Nets faithful, it has been nothing short of a disaster just 15 games in.
It may still be early on, but the Nets' campaign has already consisted of Simmons being relegated to the bench, Irving being suspended by the team and league office for his social media posts, and Durant publicly calling out his teammates and confirming he requested a trade this past summer.
Amidst the whirlwind and despite all the drama, Durant has continued to prove he is the Nets' most valuable asset on the floor. His averages of 30.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per night endorse his case as debatably the best in the world, and he has continued to perform despite the rocky 6-9 start.
An Irving trade looms large
In light of this, the noise surrounding Irving's long-term future with the organization has been churning since his suspension. Slowly but surely, the cons have seemingly outgrown the pros for the Nets' front office by keeping the crafty guard on the roster.
As a result, Irving's antics away from the arena have prompted the wider NBA media to encourage Nets general manager Sean Marks to trade the 30-year-old, with the latest being Jason Smith of Fox Sports Radio, who recently claimed Irving would be a Los Angles Laker in the not-so-distant future.
"He comes my big fat bold prediction. We know where Kyrie wants to go, Kyrie will come back and play and be good, because when Kyrie plays, he's still really good right he's still Kyrie Irving. He's going to come back, and he's not going to make headlines for a couple of weeks and what's going to happen is two desperate teams are going to get together the Nets and the Lakers, and they're going to find a way to trade Kyrie to the Lakers.
This will happen by Christmas, and by Christmas, Kyrie Irving will be a Los Angeles Laker."
By all credible reports, the Lakers and Nets were engaged in Kyrie-to-LA trade discussions this offseason; however, a deal could not be struck in time for training camp and preseason.
It seems likely that as both teams continue to struggle and become desperate, the two franchises could re-connect before the playoff picture slips too far out of reach for both.