Kyrie Irving’s Suspension is Lifted, Expected to Return to Nets
The Nets will move on without the injured Kyrie Irving.
After his recent two-game suspension for instigating a tussle over an adidas sneaker was lifted for the rest of the league, the NBA on Tuesday announced that Irving will be available for all preseason games for the Nets.
The Nets will also begin the regular season without Irving, and his presence on the roster is expected to be filled in by the team’s other four-time All-Star. Even if he is not traded before the regular season begins, the Nets will be able to put Irving on their playoff radar in February by selecting the team’s fifth pick in the upcoming draft.
The Nets have played without Irving for more than a month, and his suspension was the result of the NBA’s anti-tampering rules. It stemmed from an incident on Monday in which Irving tried to take control of an altercation in the locker room between teammate Nick Young and a fan after the game against the Hawks. Irving was fined $25,000 for instigating the tussle.
The Nets are now 1-2 against the Celtics and 3-1 against the Wizards — the teams they will likely face in the first round of the playoffs.
Irving has a sprained left ankle, which will likely keep him out of the Nets’ first-round game against the Celtics on March 14 in Cleveland. With Irving likely to be back on the court and ready to play by then, the Nets could potentially start the season with three potential All-Stars on their roster: Kyrie (center), Jarrett Allen (center) and Jarrett Allen (shooting guard/small forward).
He was suspended for the second time in October, but the NBA’s anti-tampering rules have allowed that suspension to be lifted. The Nets could still face significant scrutiny from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was not pleased with the incident, but the league did little and allowed Irving’s return to an active postseason roster.
The Nets are expected to retain a $3 million trade exception for another season, although Irving has a deal with his former team that would