Neither Kyrie Irving nor Ben Simmons will be available for the Nets this weekend, as Irving begins to serve a suspension levied against him by the team and Simmons remains sidelined due to a knee issue. Still, while Irving has disappointed the franchise off the court and Simmons hasn’t looked like his old self on the court, a trade involving either player is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the most recent episode of his Lowe Post podcast that Irving is essentially “radioactive” as a potential trade candidate (hat tip to RealGM): “Even if you drop the price to nothing, the baggage is just too much.”
As for Simmons, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports stated on his own podcast – Please Don’t Aggregate This – that he doesn’t believe the former No. 1 overall pick has any trade value either.
“I was talking to the team who has designs to rebuild Monday night when I was at Barclays Center,” Fischer said, per HoopsHype. “And like I asked that question, and I was told pretty point blank that they would have been interested in him before the season started and seven or eight games later now that interest has dissipated.”
Here’s more on the Nets:
- Addressing the apology to the Jewish community that Irving posted on Instagram late last night, Nets general manager Sean Marks said today that it was “a step” in the right direction, but that he still wants to have Irving meet with the team and Jewish leaders before being reinstated, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter links). Marks added that Brooklyn has not considered waiving Irving.
- Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also referred to Irving’s apology as an “encouraging step,” but said the ADL still isn’t accepting Irving’s donation, as he first announced on Thursday (Twitter links).
- ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Friday during an appearance on Get Up (video link) that Nets owner Joe Tsai had initially hoped Irving’s misstep could be a “teachable moment,” without any significant team discipline required, while Nets management and the NBA had pushed Tsai to be more punitive. Following Irving’s repeated refusal to apologize or to clarify that he isn’t antisemitic, Tsai realized a more serious step was necessary.
- Although Marks has denied that any decisions have been made about the Nets’ next head coach, the team is believed to be in the final stages of negotiations with Ime Udoka, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who notes that Marks and Udoka have the same representatives at CAA and says he expects those talks to conclude in the coming days. Despite Quin Snyder being considered a potential target for Brooklyn following Steve Nash‘s exit, the team had no substantial contact with Snyder to gauge his interest in the job, sources tell Fischer.
- In a roundtable for The Athletic, Alex Schiffer, Jay King, and Jared Weiss discuss why the Nets would hire Udoka following his ugly exit from Boston. Meanwhile, Ian O’Connor of The New York Post argues that rushing into a deal with Udoka will be Brooklyn’s latest losing bet.