After all, this still is, technically, just a rumor:
Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
Now, it’s a rumor with a lot of gravitas, being reported by the co-chair of the NBA’s gossip board. Adrian Wojnarowski even followed it up with a whole article of his own, in which he cited the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns as teams who either are interested in acquiring Kyrie Irving, or may be.
Functionally, though, Irving’s trade request is still just a rumor. That's why he is listed as OUT for Brooklyn’s Saturday evening matchup with the Washington Wizards not due to window shopping for a new home, but rather because of “some calf soreness,” as Jacque Vaughn called it in his pregame press conference. That's why it was just Vaughn taking questions, rather than Sean Marks. There is no official news to report from the Brooklyn side.
Ultimately, that's why Jacque Vaughn did not have much fuel to add to the (newest) Kyrie Irving fire, avoiding direct comments about the rumor we all know to be true, but instead doing the necessary beating around the bush.
- On his conversations with Irving, and what would drive the star guard to wanting out: “Yesterday, I touched bases with every single player...I’m not going to speculate on stuff that’s out there, what’s been reported.”
- But, Jacque Vaughn, did you ask him if or why he does want to leave Brooklyn? “I didn’t ask those questions. 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 and check on him as an individual. I’ll leave the business side to Sean [Marks] and that group.”
If there was one interesting exchange to take away, it was Vaughn’s exchange with ESPN’s Nick Friedell:
Friedell: “Do you feel like [Kyrie] is letting the team down?”
Vaughn: “I’m not going to speculate on what they think.”
Friedell: “What do you think?”
Vaughn: “I think you have responsibility as a basketball player, like I do as a coach. I show up, I do my job every single day. That’s what I signed up for. That’s my expectations for one through 17.”
Other than that, it was business as usual for Jacque Vaughn and his Brooklyn Nets, which is to say dealing with chaos both of the general sort, and the injury sort. This quote may seem all too familiar for Nets fans of a certain age (toddlers and up):
"You're extremely honest with these guys...focus on today, that doesn't change. We've been really good at locking in and doing our jobs, don't forget that piece of it."— Lucas Kaplan (@LucasKaplan_) February 4, 2023
- Jacque Vaughn
Just another day in Nets World.
I suppose you could call Kyrie Irving’s situation an injury update, considering he’s missing Saturday’s contest vs. the Wizards with calf soreness. But we here at NetsDaily respect the reader a little more than that, so the only true injury updates Vaughn provided pregame were on TJ Warren and Ben Simmons.
For TJ Warren, dealing with a knee contusion he suffered on January 26 against Detroit, Vaughn confirmed he’d go through an on-court workout prior to Saturday’s contest, but is ultimately a long shot to play.
Regarding Ben Simmons, the 6’10” Aussie is also doing on-court work - progress! - but is only “itching towards” a return to game action. Vaughn described his status as day-to-day.
The Nets play the Clippers on Monday and the Suns Tuesday at Barclays Center, then will wait till Thursday’s 3:00 p.m. deadline and a game that night vs. the Bulls.
- The Day After: How Nets Feel About Kyrie Irving’s Trade Request - Chris Milholen - Sports Illustrated
- Kyrie Irving’s surprised Nets teammates learned about trade demand on Twitter - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving out for Nets-Wizards game day after demanding to be traded - Dylan Svoboda - New York Post
- Jacque Vaughn keeping Nets’ composure after Kyrie Irving trade request: ‘We’re not gonna make this weird’ - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets’ Jacque Vaughn on Kyrie Irving trade request: ‘I think you have responsibility as a basketball player’ - Alec Schiffer - The Athletic