NBA Trade Deadline is Thursday Feb. 9
The ongoing soap opera that has been Kyrie Irving has another plot twist. He wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him after his representation and the team failed to come to terms on a contract extension. Irving is Brooklyn’s second-leading scorer with 27.1 points per game and has shouldered a lot of the load with Kevin Durant out since Jan. 8 with a knee injury.
Irving’s request moved around some NBA futures odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and around the industry, as many believe a reunion with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers could be coming. Irving is -600 to be traded per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Brooklyn Nets NBA Championship odds
The before and after prices for the Nets to win the NBA title are fascinating. DraftKings had Brooklyn at +600 and now the Nets are +1400. We saw similar moves at BetMGM (+700 to +1400) and Caesars (+650 to +1200). At present, the Nets hold the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and Durant could return next week.
The Nets were among the short shots alongside the Boston Celtics (+330) and Milwaukee Bucks (+650), whose odds have moved down in light of the breaking news on Friday.
Kyrie Irving stats
The Nets have lost seven of 11 games since Durant went out, though Kyrie hasn’t been at fault. He’s averaged 30.3 points per game and 6.9 assists per contest over the 10 games that he has played in that span. As mentioned, he trails only Durant (29.7) in points per game (27.1) and is tied with Durant for second in assists per game (5.3) behind Ben Simmons (6.4).
Simmons is a good defender and facilitator of the basketball, but the Nets are heavily reliant on Durant and Irving for points. Brooklyn has averaged 114.2 points per game, but Durant and Irving have combined for nearly half of that output.
Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship odds
Kyrie’s request doesn’t have to be honored, but he did say that he’ll leave via free agency at the end of the season, so the Nets probably want to get something for him, particularly in a market with very few sellers.
The Lakers are considered a frontrunner for Irving’s services. He and LeBron played together for several years in Cleveland and play well together, along with their ability to play nice, which is something Irving has had difficulty finding since leaving the Cavaliers. The Lakers’ odds were already among the lowest in the market at +3000 at DraftKings Sportsbook, but other books like BetMGM moved from +4000 to +3000.
Kevin Durant Trade Deadline
Keep in mind that KD also requested a trade prior to the season, but no such deal took place. Will he rekindle that desire in light of Irving’s impending departure. The Nets are firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but it is fair to say that they are clearly behind the Celtics and Bucks.
Durant has gone title chasing before (Golden State), so it will be a week spent on pins and needles for the Nets front office and the fan base.
Hardwood Handicappers Podcast
Jonathan Von Tobel and Kelley Bydlon did a new edition of Hardwood Handicappers on Friday, but had to reconvene for an emergency version in light of Irving’s trade request, which you can listen to right here.