The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving have yet to begin discussing the star point guard’s future with the team.
General manager Sean Marks told Yes Network’s Michael Grady that conversations between the parties had yet to occur during an interview that aired on Monday. Marks spoke with reporters last Wednesday, which focused heavily on Irving, and spoke separately with the Yes Network host last week.
“I look forward to (it),” Marks said. “We have not had a conversation yet. So I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe (Tsai) and his team. And we will see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here and what he needs from us and so forth. It wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know.
“We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. When they do we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
Irving holds a $36.9 million option for next season, but he is expected to opt-out and negotiate a contract extension in Brooklyn. Irving has repeatedly stated that he wanted to remain in Brooklyn to play alongside his friend and teammate Kevin Durant.
“In terms of my extension, man, I don’t really plan on going anywhere,” Irving said after Game 4. “So this is, like I said, this added motivation for our franchise to be at the top of the league for the next few years. And I’m just looking forward to the summer, and just building with our guys here.”
However, the question remains where do the Nets see Irving going forward after several years of drama on and off the court with him. Irving missed 53 games this season while he watched from affair due to his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine and since he has signed with the Nets in 2019 he has missed 123 regular-season games.
His absences have ranged from injury to personal leave to this year’s COVID drama. All of that combined with a less than stellar playoff outing may give the Nets some pause as they move forward.
“You want people here to be part of something bigger than themselves. It’s a team sport, it’s a team game,” Marks said when asked about the culture of the team. “It’s not individuals. Now there’s certain individuals that have a higher threshold and talent than the rest of us, but at the end of the day, everybody has got to be able to contribute. We want people to be here for the right reasons and buy into their roles. High character guys.
“We want to avoid the drama, avoid the distractions. I think these last couple of years here whether it was expectations set on the team or some of the outside circumstances that were going on in the world, they affected our guys and our group. Both individually and as a group really poorly, unfortunately, so hopefully those days are behind us and we can move forward.”
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he will opt in on his player option or not. The easiest solution for everyone would be for the Nets superstar to opt in and become a free agent next season.
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The opt-out is where things gt a bit more tricky. Irving would be eligible for a four-year, $189.7 million deal or a five-year, $245.6 million deal which only the Nets could offer.
While unlikely, for various reasons, Irving would be eligible for a four-year, $182.1 million deal with another team if he decided to leave Brooklyn this offseason, per Spotrac.