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Brooklyn Nets working to distance themselves from Kyrie Irving

Andrew Buller-Russ
Kyrie Irving
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Brooklyn Nets be ready to move on from star point guard Kyrie Irving after three years with the organization? Reading between the lines on comments made by general manager Sean Marks, trading Irving might be near the top of the agenda heading into the offseason.

Nets GM hints Kyrie Irving’s Brooklyn days are numbered

No matter how the Nets ended their playoff run, Irving was always headed for uncertainty this offseason. The seven-time NBA All-Star has a player option that gives him the choice of whether he wants to continue playing in Brooklyn, or become a free agent and test the open market right away, as opposed to next season.

  • Kyrie Irving contract: $36.9 million player option for 2022-23 season

While Irving has an internal decision to make about his future, he’s not the only one who makes roster decisions around Brooklyn, which could directly impact the 30-year-old’s standing with the organization.

Any time a team has a player headed for free agency the following season, there’s usually a desire to try and find common ground, reaching a long-term extension to keep him around. But that might not necessarily be the case for Irving and the Nets.

In speaking to the media on Wednesday, Nets GM Sean Marks didn’t commit to his starting point guard, noting a need to see if Irving staying in Brooklyn was “the right fit”.

“You want people here to be part of something bigger than themselves. It’s a team sports team game. It’s not individuals. We want people to be here for the right reasons, and buy into their roles, find their roles, high-character guys. We want to avoid the drama, we want to avoid the distractions. These last couple years here, whether it was expectation set on the team or some of the outside circumstances that were going on in the world, they affected our guys — both individually and as a group — really poorly, unfortunately.”

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks on Kyrie Irving’s status with team

Very interesting comments by Marks, but it wouldn’t be hard to believe Irving is standing on thin ice based on the words of his current team’s GM.

Marks also said a meeting between team owner Joe Tsai, Irving and himself has yet to occur, and that could help determine the player’s immediate future in Brooklyn.

There’s no guarantee Irving even wants to return to Brooklyn after being held out of action based on his personal beliefs of not wanting to comply with the local vaccine requirements in New York City for much of the year.

As Marks noted, it created a lot of drama, and they want to “avoid the distractions”. It’s possible that feeling is mutual, despite Kevin Durant’s ever-so-supportive presence for his basketball peer.

We just might see another blockbuster trade from Brooklyn this offseason.

Related: Kyrie Irving blames himself, lack of maturity on Cleveland Cavaliers breakup