Irving remains unvaccinated and away from the Nets. As of now, the Nets are preparing as if he won’t play this season.
“The bottom line is, Kyrie Irving is not vaccinated,” Wojnarowski told co-worker Malika Andrews, via Net Income and Alec Sturm of Nets Daily. “At this point he doesn’t sound as though he is about to get vaccinated to be able to return and play for this Nets team. And the Nets are preparing for the fact that’s he’s not gonna be there.”
Both Irving and 76ers star guard/forward Ben Simmons have been involved in ongoing situations that have kept them off the court. Neither team is seeking to trade one for the other, per multiple reports.
“(Sixers head of basketball operations) Daryl Morey has called all over the league, talked to teams about star players everywhere to try to find a deal for Ben Simmons,” Wojnarowski said, via RealGM. “One team he has not called, I’m told, is the Brooklyn Nets. He has not lobbed a call to (Nets GM) Sean Marks about Kyrie Irving.
“Brooklyn, I’m told, has taken incoming calls from teams on Kyrie Irving. They have not themselves made any calls on Kyrie Irving.”
Wojnarowski has previously stated that trading Irving will be a tall task for the Nets.
“When the Nets made [the Harden] trade, they saw James Harden as a necessity. I think that they could already see that they may not be able to count on Kyrie Irving,” Wojnarowski said on his podcast, via Sturm. “I think the day James Harden arrived in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving was expendable — if he chose to be expendable.”
As for the potential of an Irving trade, Wojnarowski added that everything is very much up in the air, given the uniqueness of the Irving situation.
“You just don’t know what you’d be trading for. You don’t know whether he wants to play –does he want to play for you? Does he want to play at all?” Wojnarowski said, via Sturm.
“He wanted Brooklyn, he wanted Kevin Durant, he wanted to play for his childhood team and there have been a lot of instances where it’s fair to question how much he wanted to play.”
“I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” Irving said. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.”
Irving would be ineligible for all of Brooklyn’s home games, but could play in most road games. But the Nets have other plans.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets GM Sean Marks in a statement.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.
“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice.”
Irving, 29, averaged 26.9 points and 6.0 assists in 54 games last season, his second in Brooklyn.