When the offseason kicked off with Ben Simmons requesting a trade from the Sixers, many have suggested an easy solution that included sending the three-time All-Star guard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the veteran guard Kyrie Irving.
As expected, the idea of trading Irving away to anybody was immediately shot down as Brooklyn's superstar forward Kevin Durant doesn't want to see his friend get shipped off somewhere else as he joined the Nets along with Irving years back.
At this point, Durant could change his stance on the situation. As Irving refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine, he remains intelligible to participate in home games. And since he can only play for less than half of Brooklyn's matchups, the Nets decided to keep Irving away from the team until he can become a full-time player, creating a bit of a staredown between Irving and the organization.
Meanwhile, the Sixers have been in a staredown of their own. As Ben Simmons requested a trade earlier in the summer, he has yet to find himself a new home. After holding out for a couple of weeks and missing three preseason games, the 25-year-old star has finally returned to Philadelphia.
While the 76ers want Simmons to suit up and play for them again, they will continue to field trade offers as Simmons seems to prefer a new landing spot still. As many continue to believe a Simmons-Irving swap would benefit both teams greatly, the Sixers reportedly remain uninterested in bringing Irving on board, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.
"One thing is for sure — at least for now. While an Irving trade for Ben Simmons with Philadelphia is seen by some as an easy solution to both teams’ problems, sources with knowledge of the 76ers’ view said there is no interest in Irving at the moment. From management on down, it seems there is an unsurprising level of skepticism about that pairing working out any better than the Joel Embiid-Simmons duo that is zombified at the moment."
From a basketball standpoint, Irving would make sense for the Sixers. Just last season, he shot 50-percent from the field and knocked down 40-percent of his threes. By acquiring Irving, the Sixers would land themselves a pure point guard, which is something they've lacked over the years.
Of course, the veteran point guard would surely instill worry in any team that trades for him, though. The idea that Irving could retire if he's traded away from Brooklyn has been floated around lately. Plus, there's been a lot of concerns surrounding Irving dating back to his previous two stints in Boston and Cleveland.
As the 76ers don't feel desperate to trade Simmons, there isn't any rush to trade him away anytime soon. If Brooklyn's willing to put Irving on the table, it might be something the Sixers could consider later on down the road, but right now, they don't have any interest in potentially taking on the 29-year-old guard.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.