Kyrie Irving staying in Brooklyn after opting for $36.5 millon deal with Nets
Kyrie Irving looked like he could have been on his way out of Brooklyn, but has pledged another year to the Nets after signing a player option.
After much speculation about Kyrie Irving and his future, he has reportedly decided to stay with the Brooklyn Nets. He confirmed his decision to The Athletic on Monday afternoon.
Irving puts doubts to rest in Brooklyn
Irving, 30, had the choice to enter the free agent market when it starts on Thursday afternoon, but his decision will keep him at the Barclays Center for another year.
There was talk of Irving and the Nets at odds when discussing his future with the franchise, and the possibility of a opt-and-trade on the horizon, but Irving is hitching his wagon to Brooklyn in their attempts to build a championship team despite losing James Harden last season.
“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving told The Athletic. “I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”
KD wanted Irving to stay
The former first overall pick had a couple options after the season. He could have entered the free agent market and signed with another team. Irving also had the choice of signing with the Nets and looking for an opt and trade, signing a new multi year contract in Brooklyn or sign the player option for $36.5 million which will keep him in Brooklyn next season.
Reports leaked out of Brooklyn that Kevin Durant was unhappy with the Nets’ dealing of the situation and that his confidence in the front office was dwindling according to The Ringer Mismatch’s Logan Murdoch, who had spent time with Durant.
“His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from”
Remember, Irving was kept out for much of the season due to New York Covid restriction that prohibited him from practicing or playing with the team in New York. The Nets said earlier in the year they would not count of Irving as long as he continued to miss games and practices in the state of New York. That decision lasted until the first week of the new year when he made his return against the Indiana Pacers on the road. He would later be allowed to play games at the Barclays center in mid-March.
Irving will now form part of a new look Nets big three that is expected to feature Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons, who didn’t play a game after getting traded to Brooklyn in February.