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If you thought Kyrie Irving had changed, seen the error of his arrogant, narcissistic, team-destroying ways, rededicated himself to the Brooklyn Nets and basketball in general, think again. The guy couldn't make it three months from his last team suspension before launching another potential nuke into the Nets' locker room and season. 

Indeed, Irving wants to be traded before next Thursday's deadline, per multiple reports and as confirmed by CBS Sports' Bill Reiter. So much for all all the good vibes in Brooklyn. One day Jacque Vaughn has turned it all around, the next Kevin Durant is hurt, the Nets lose seven of their next 11, and shortly after all that Irving demands out using the threat of his leaving as a free agent this summer to hopefully get his way. 


Word is Irving was looking to parlay his All-Star play and couple-month stint of good behavior into a long-term extension with the Nets, who, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, indeed "offered Irving an extension with guarantee stipulations, according to league sources, an offer which was declined."

From Charania:

Sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations who have been granted anonymity so that they could speak freely say that the extension offer was not well received and that there have been principle differences that have emerged between the Nets and Irving.

In other words, Irving didn't get his way, and instead of saying to himself, "you know what, Durant is about to come back, we've got a legitimate chance to win a title, and I can explore my options to head to another franchise this summer," he makes it all about himself, again, by taking the organization hostage. 

How many teams does this guy have to blow up? The Nets really have (or had) something going here. But then again, they had a championship thing going in Cleveland, too, until Irving demanded out of there. Then he pledged his allegiance to Boston, only to derail his final season there before bolting for Brooklyn, where he has ushered in one unmitigated disaster after another. 

I mean the guy is a super close friend of Kevin Durant, or so we're told, and he just doesn't care if he ruins Durant's season. Nobody is safe from this guy. No team. No co-star. He is a ticking time bomb, and teams that are thinking about trading for him, if they have any sense in their collective heads, are considering this fact right now. 

Are the Lakers desperate enough to do it? They would only give up those picks if they intend to sign Irving long-term. It's a brutally tough call. If the Lakers get wind that Irving's market looks dry, they could wait for the summer to sign him as a free agent without giving up the picks. But that effectively equates to giving up on this season without any guarantee that they'll get Irving in the summer, when they might not have the cap space anyway depending on what they do with the likes of Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves

Personally, I'd rather deal with the Raptors for Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. if that was a real alternative. The Lakers are a better team with those two guys, on and off the court, than they would be with Irving. But the guy is playing awesome, and talent is ever tantalizing. 

The Lakers, and probably handful of other teams, are currently trying to figure out just how much of Kyrie's nonsense they can absorb and still come out as a net positive on the court. Just ask this: How many teams have actually been better for having Irving in their locker room? Even when he's playing and behaving well, it's only a matter of time. He proved that again on Friday.