The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are both championship contenders. Even so, they both have locker room issues that could be solved by just getting rid of the players who are messing with their chemistry.
On one hand, the Nets have Kyrie Irving, who won't get vaccinated and isn't eligible to play. Even if he were to get the vaccine, time has shown that it's just a matter of time before he becomes a distraction and a problem.
On the other, the Sixers have Ben Simmons, who threatened to sit out the season in an attempt to force a trade. Notably, he only decided to come back because the team hit him where it hurts him the most: His pocket.
NBA Rumors: Sixers Don't Want Kyrie Irving In Return For Ben Simmons
One would say that if the Nets and Sixers want an All-Star caliber player in return, why not help each other out and just swap their disgruntled stars? Philadelphia has no vaccine mandate so Kyrie could play there, and Simmons would improve the defense of an already contending squad.
But even if that could seem like a logical outcome and the ultimate win-win situation, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that, as bad as the situation with Simmons is, the Sixers still rather have him than Kyrie:
“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," read the report.
ESPN: The Nets Want To Get Rid Of Kyrie
That's not a surprise at all. Simmons may not want to play but at least he might play. Kyrie is unpredictable and has made a mess everywhere he goes. He can't be trusted, he won't change, and he's not the guy you want on an already volatile locker room. At least, that's what Stephen A. Smith seems to think:
"Why give away that for a dude you cannot trust? And be clear: You cannot trust Kyrie to be anything but Kyrie," Smith said on First Take. "He's gonna do what he feels is best for him and everybody else be damned. And it's a damn shame because now you might lose James Harden because Daryl Morey is lurking at Philadelphia and don't think for one second that Daryl Morey ain't trying to get his hands on James Harden. I'm telling you what I know."
"I completely applaud the Brooklyn Nets for taking this position," Smith added. "I said it before and I'm telling y'all again. They'd give his *ss away for a box of cookies if they could. They're so disgusted with this dude. I'm telling you what I know, y'all figure out how the hell I know that. I ain't asking, I'm telling you, it's that disgusted. Is just like Kendrick Perkins said: This brother when he said that he'd retire if he gets traded, we don't know if he might... He ain't playing now, he's that kind of dude! And so, as a result, you've got teams that don't wanna trade for him A because he might retire or B because he might be just as much trouble for them because his focus ain't just on basketball."
Truth be told, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that Kyrie will just call it a day and retire. He may even be happier than with all this unnecessary drama around him. As per Simmons, we'll have to wait and see how his situation unfolds.
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