The Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era will live to see another season.
The superstar has opted into his $36.9 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets for next season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The news ends a week of rumors and speculation about Irving’s future in Brooklyn and the possibility of Kevin Durant exiting as well over the whole thing.
“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even,” Irving said to Charania.
Following the news being published on social media, Irving sent out another cryptic message from his Twitter account.
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) June 27, 2022
The rumor mill kicked into overdrive this week after it was first reported that talks between the Nets and Irving had hit an impasse and the door had been open for him to leave in the offseason. As the days continued, reports started to indicate that Durant could try to force a trade from Brooklyn if Irving left and one report suggested that Durant had lost confidence in the Nets front office.
There had also been multiple reports on Monday morning that the Nets had given Irving and his camp permission to seek sign-and-trade options. However, later in the day, it was reported that only the Los Angeles Lakers had been the only team that shown any interest in a sign-and-trade deal for Irving.
Now the Nets will get one more year of two of the NBA’s best players sharing the court in Brooklyn. Irving missed a quarter of the season last year due to his refusal to get vaccinated and adhere to New York City’s vaccine mandate.
For more Brooklyn Nets coverage, visit AMNY.com and our affiliate site at TheBrooklynGame.com
His absences appeared to be at the heart of the issues with the Nets, who reportedly took a hardline stance against giving Irving a max extension. The point guard had been very vocal about remaining in Brooklyn, but Nets general manager Sean Marks was much more non-committal during his end-of-the-year press conference in May.
While Irving has come with a reputation, there has been no denying just how good he is on the floor. He averaged 27.4 points per game, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds for the Nets last season and there aren’t too many teams in the league that would pass up on a player of Irving’s generational talents.