Word broke Monday that Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons could report back to the club, which he later did, even though he previously requested a trade and was thought to be willing to sit through the entire upcoming season to get his wish.
On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets essentially banished superstar Kyrie Irving away from the team because of his unwillingness to receive one of the safe and available COVID-19 vaccines coupled with the New York City mandate that requires in-market NBA personnel to either be vaccinated or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption to enter public indoor venues such as Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.
Those very different situations led some to wonder if the 76ers and Nets could potentially complete a trade that would involve Simmons and Irving switching teams. However, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reports Philadelphia has “no interest in Irving at the moment.”
That could change if Irving, who can opt out of his Brooklyn contract after the season, signs an extension with the Nets. Tuesday’s developments make that unlikely unless New York eliminates its mandate or Irving puts pen to paper on a deal just to leave his current employer.
“Well, if he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I think that’s probably pretty clear,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said of Irving.