Report: Nets ‘unwilling’ to give Kyrie Irving long-term contract
After the Brooklyn Nets were swept out of the playoffs in the first round, they will have to decide on how to get back to becoming championship contenders.
The Brooklyn Nets’ year did not turn out exactly as expected. After being heavy favorites to win the NBA Championship early in the season, they found themselves unceremoniously swept out of opening round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, becoming the only team that failed to win a single game in the postseason.
The Nets lost James Harden in a trade for Ben Simmons, who in turn was unable to play a single game for the Nets. Kevin Durant was plagued by injuries.
One major factor that played a role in Brooklyn’s debacle and attracted a lot of attention was the spotty attendance of star guard Kyrie Irving, who played only 29 games last season because of his refusal to get vaccinated.
Irving could become a free agent
Irving could head into unrestricted free agency this summer if he chooses to decline his $36.5 million opt-in option.
He has said in the past that he wants to stay with the Nets, but a report indicates that the Nets are having second thoughts about keeping him in the roster for the long haul.
According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, “The Nets’ championship hopes hinge on an amicable solution with Irving, whose personal decision not to get vaccinated and unpredictable injury history have left the Nets hesitant, and now, according to a source familiar with the Nets’ thought process, outright unwilling to give him a long-term extension.”
Can the Nets afford to lose Kyrie?
Irving has to decide if he will stay for the last year of his contract, and the Nets will have to consider their options if the 30-year-old decides to opt out of it.
With Simmons undergoing back surgery and Durant reportedly yet to speak to Brooklyn management since the playoff sweep, the franchise might find it in their best interest to iron things out with the seven-time All-Star player.