NBA Fact or Fiction Kyrie Irving just became eligible to be traded. Now what?
About 80 players—20% of the NBA's roster—became tradeable Friday. Most summer free agents, save those who signed after Sept. 15 and a few others, can be traded as of the unofficial start of a trade season that continues through Feb. 8.
Most of the names are uninteresting, but their wages can now be bundled to attract Zach LaVine, Pascal Siakam, and (for an excessive price) Lauri Markkanen.
Last December, no trades were completed, and only two were made in January: the minimum contract salary dump and the Lakers' purchase of Rui Hachimura.
After Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from the Brooklyn Nets the week before the deadline, the stove got hot.
Irving is the most prominent of the 81 players who can be traded, along with Russell Westbrook, Khris Middleton, Fred VanVleet, and Draymond Green.
Because his desires change, Irving may be the most likely to be dealt. He requested a trade from LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers a month after a third straight trip to the NBA Finals to lead his own contender
vowed to re-sign with the Celtics but followed Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, and abandoned that feel-good homecoming to rejoin James on the Lakers. In six years, this happened.
For reasons ranging from injuries to an anti-vaccine campaign to his suspension for promoting an antisemitic movie on social media.
Irving missed 30% of his games with the Celtics, 50% of his games with the Nets, and 30% (and counting) of his games with the Dallas Mavericks during that time, including playoffs.
He skipped 2020 and resisted New York's vaccine mandate in 2021-22, sparking James Harden's departure, before disintegrating the Nets in February. In 2021's second round, a sore ankle kept him out of an overtime Game 7 loss.
That brings us to February, when he joined the sixth-place Mavericks before his right foot ailment prevented a playoff appearance.
Over the summer, Irving re-signed with Dallas on a three-year, $120 million contract that became trade-eligible Friday. It was not his desired four-year, $200 million max contract.
If Irving wasn't fascinating enough, things get interesting here. In June 2022, the Nets allowed him to sign-and-trade, and the Lakers were the only team interested, but they couldn't agree.
Despite mutual interest, Irving could not join the Lakers in February. James publicly lamented the Lakers' failure to acquire Irving before last season's trade deadline.
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