Irving trade request caught Nets teammates off guard

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Kyrie Irving's trade request to the Brooklyn Nets caught his teammates off guard, according to Nic Claxton.

Having failed to agree a fresh long-term deal with the franchise, and in the final year of his four-year agreement, Irving has demanded a trade.

Suitors are growing, with ESPN reporting the Los Angeles Clippers have joined the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns in the hunt for his services.

Brooklyn are mulling over their options as they seek to remain competitive ahead of the imminent return of Kevin Durant, ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.

Irving's request led to plenty of surprise among fans, a feeling that was shared by center Claxton.

"I was taking a nap. I looked in one of my group chats and I saw it," he said on Saturday. "I was like, 'Wow'. It just caught me off guard. But it is what it is.

"We're just like everybody else, we were caught off guard, but I can't judge a grown man for his decisions.

"At the end of the day, he's doing what's best for him. I stand by him, and I stand with my teammates here in this locker room."

Irving did not play in Saturday's game against the Washington Wizards due to right calf soreness, where the Nets moved to 31-20 after a 125-123 victory.