Kyrie Irving’s shocking trade request caught his Nets teammates ‘off guard’ as they ‘found out about the news on Twitter,’ reveal Nic Claxton and Royce O’Neale, while coach Jacque Vaughn hopes the demand ‘lifts the team up’
Kyrie Irving’s trade request Friday didn’t just surprise fans, as the guard’s Nets teammates revealed the next day they were not expecting the news.
Speaking ahead of the Nets’ home matchup with the Wizards – which Irving was ruled out of due to ‘calf soreness’ – center Nic Claxton revealed how he learned about the development.
‘I was taking a nap,’ he said. ‘And I looked in one of my group chats and I saw it and I was like, ‘Wow.’ Just caught me off guard. But it is what it is.’
‘We’re just like everybody else,’ Claxton added. ‘We’re caught off guard.’
Claxton’s teammate Royce O’Neale echoed that sentiment.
Kyrie Irving shocked the team – and the league – by requesting a trade on Friday
Head coach Jacque Vaughn said he was only dealing with the ‘human side’ of the issue
And Irving’s teammate Nic Claxton said he was caught ‘off guard’ by the news on Saturday
The forward said he was ‘surprised’ by Irving’s trade request, and added that he found out about it the ‘same way everybody else did: Twitter.’
Irving is in the last year of a four-year contract, and has been unable thus far to agree to another long-term pact with the team.
The team has just five days until the trade deadline closes, and Irving – and the team – will remain in limbo until he is dealt or the franchise finds a way to smooth things over.
Coach Jacque Vaughn did not say whether he expects Irving to be available for the team’s next two games vs. the Clippers and Suns, and noted the decision on any potential trade ultimately lied with general manager Sean Marks.
‘There’s a business side to this thing and there’s a human side to this thing. I elected to touch on the human side, check on him as an individual,’ Vaughn said.
‘I’ll leave the business side to Sean and that group.’
He also added that he hopes the request ‘lifts the group up and that they can pull together.’
Claxton also indicated that he won’t become overly involved in the situation, saying he had ‘no idea’ whether Irving could wind up staying put.
‘I just work here, at the end of the day. I just want to come out here and beat Washington and have fun in front of our fans.
Royce O’Neale said he was ‘surprised’ by the news Irving had requested a trade from the team
‘I always respect his decision, whatever that may be,’ Claxton said. ‘That’s my brother. And we just gotta roll with who’s here.’
If Irving does get traded, the Lakers, Mavericks and Suns are considered the frontrunners to potentially land Irving, according to various reports.
Irving’s agent and stepmother, Shetellia Irving, told Bleacher Report last week that she had reached out to the Nets regarding a new deal. Kyrie Irving — whose current deal with the Nets expires after this season — is eligible for a four-year contract worth as much as $200 million.
‘I have reached out to the Nets regarding this,’ Shetellia Irving told Bleacher Report.
‘We have had no significant conversations to date. The desire is to make Brooklyn home, with the right type of extension, which means the ball is in the Nets’ court to communicate now if their desire is the same.’