Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook are late scratches for their games on Saturday, and fans are putting two and two together.
On Friday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania dropped a bomb when he reported that Irving had requested a trade out of Brooklyn a week before the trade deadline after contract extension negotiations broke down.
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
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving was seeking a max long-term contract extension, but the Nets were unwilling to give it to him.
The Nets and Irving’s agent, Shetellia Riley-Irving, had discussed an extension recently, but Brooklyn remained reluctant to rush into a long-term commitment without further evidence that Irving could stay reliable, perform at a high level and remain controversy-free, sources said.
One of the teams interested in trading for Irving is the LA Lakers.
On Saturday both Russell Westbrook and Irving were sitting out their games with mysterious illnesses.
Lakers officially list Russell Westbrook as questionable for tonight’s game with non-Covid illness
— Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) February 4, 2023
Brooklyn Nets say Kyrie Irving (right calf soreness) is out tonight against Washington Wizards.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 4, 2023
Of course fans began to believe that the two players sitting out meant the Lakers and the Nets were working out a trade.
Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook are both OUT tonight. Lakers trade 🔜 pic.twitter.com/O7lC3Lghyt
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) February 4, 2023
Russell Westbrook and kyrie irving are out on the same night.
What does this mean? pic.twitter.com/fXn5xkIi2w
— Nova👾 (@Ventasion) February 4, 2023
Kyrie and Russell Westbrook both ruled out on the same day?? pic.twitter.com/UE7yGJrKkQ
— The CaruShow 🐐 (@BaldMambaSZN) February 4, 2023
Both Kyrie and Westbrook out tonight 🤔 pic.twitter.com/jm8RLsKIYH
— Tony Clements (@TonyCMKE) February 4, 2023
Kyrie and Westbrook both out tonight pic.twitter.com/Z7079Vz8xN
— YouWager.lv (@YouWager_FF) February 4, 2023