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The Perfect Trade For Kyrie Irving: D'Angelo Russell Returns To The Brooklyn Nets

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The Perfect Trade For Kyrie Irving: D'Angelo Russell Returns To The Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving is a player that has frequently been highlighted in the media recently, due to his refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19. That will prevent him from playing in home games for the Brooklyn Nets due to local laws, which means that he would miss half of the season. The Nets have also prohibited Kyrie Irving from being a part-time player, which means that he will not be able to play at all next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic has revealed that the Brooklyn Nets will no longer offer Kyrie Irving a $186 million extension, while also mentioning that the Brooklyn Nets would be "open" to listening to trade offers for Kyrie Irving. Any big minutes player missing a significant chunk of time would hurt the team that he is part of, and the Nets trading Irving would certainly be one solution to their predicament.

With that being said, any team trading for Kyrie Irving would have to be willing to take a risk on the off-court things that come with his presence on a roster. Kyrie Irving is still a talented player though, and there are teams that are desperately in need of star power in order to become more competitive. Here is a potential Kyrie Irving trade scenario featuring the Minnesota Timberwolves and former Nets player D'Angelo Russell.

Brooklyn Nets Receive: D'Angelo Russell

Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Kyrie Irving

The Minnesota Timberwolves Create An Improved Big 3

D'Angelo Russell is a very good offensive guard who is an extremely versatile scorer. But there's no question that most people would agree that Kyrie Irving is a better player. Irving is a three-level shot creator with the best handles in the league, and there's no doubt that pairing him with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards would give the Timberwolves a more talented team than what they currently have.

It's definitely a risk to trade a young guard that's under contract like D'Angelo Russell for Kyrie Irving, given the question marks about the Nets guard and potential concerns arising from that factor. 

But Kyrie Irving would be able to play all games in Minnesota as of right now, and he'd give the Minnesota Timberwolves a proven playoff performer who was a championship-caliber No. 2 option. Strictly basketball-wise, Kyrie Irving would be a talent upgrade for the team.

The Minnesota Timberwolves haven't made the playoffs since the 2017-18 season, and a Kyrie Irving trade would likely push them into being a solid playoff team. It is easy to see why the Timberwolves could be hesitant to pull the trigger in this scenario, but sometimes to make good teams one has to take risks.

The Brooklyn Nets Bring Back A Fan Favorite And Remain Elite Offensively

D'Angelo Russell was a fan favorite with the Brooklyn Nets, and he was part of the Nets' 2018-19 team that brought the franchise back to the playoffs after a brief rebuild. Even though D'Angelo Russell was an All-Star that year, he was subsequently sent out to the Warriors as part of Kevin Durant's sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

Over the 2020-21 season, D'Angelo Russell averaged 19.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 5.8 APG with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He's a great player that could be one of the best No. 3 options in the league if traded to the Brooklyn Nets. At the base level, having a good player suit up for the Brooklyn Nets for both home and away games is better than having Kyrie Irving miss the entire season.

Obviously, there's some concern with D'Angelo Russell going to a team with two ball-dominant players such as James Harden and Kevin Durant. However, having a young star like Russell would reduce the playmaking load on Harden and scoring load on Durant, keeping them fresh for the playoffs. Also, it's not as if Kyrie Irving didn't use the ball often, so 3 high-usage players could definitely work together.

This is obviously a scenario, and the Brooklyn Nets have had no trade talks regarding Kyrie Irving. That being said, nothing is impossible, and perhaps we'll end up seeing Kyrie Irving traded at some point in the future.