There are no rumors, not even speculation, that the Nets are interested in trading Kyrie Irving at the deadline on February 9. And under normal circumstances, that would be normal. Irving after all is playing at a high level, scoring 48 points Friday night in the Nets win over the Jazz, then 38 points in the big comeback vs. the Warriors Sunday.
It would also appear that the Nets lack of interest in trading the 30-year-old who is after all on an expiring deal is a good indicator that they want to keep him beyond this year ,,, and that relationships are good.
If Sean Marks and Joe Tsai didn’t want him back — or believed he’s unhappy in Brooklyn, they’d be marketing Irving. They’re not. No ownership would want to lose such a great player for nothing in free agency. A last ditch sign-and-trade in July seems unlikely for a lot of reasons. In other words, for the Nets and Irving, this is it and right now, things look good.
As every Nets fan can tell you, after weeks of talks last summer, Irving and the Nets reached an impasse over the details of a contract suspension. The bottom line was, at least according to reports, that the Nets didn’t want to max out Irving — $200 million over four years — after he went AWOL in 2021 and declined to get vaccinated in 2022, violating New York’s mandate. Within three days of Irving’s decision to opt into his player option, Kevin Durant told Tsai he wanted out. That all eventually got worked out but starting with the deadline and extending into free agency in July, fans have a right to be anxious.
But at least at this point, it looks like the Nets and Irving are headed to some sort of extension. Indeed, Michael Scotto of Hoopshype reported this week that rival NBA executives expect Brooklyn and Irving’s team, led by his agent and stepmother Shetellia Riley Irving, to reach a deal on an extension.
[S]everal NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype believe Irving and the Nets will continue their partnership together beyond this season – a notion that seemed improbable to many around the league amid Irving’s suspension and Brooklyn’s listless start to the season.
“I think Kyrie ends up with a short extension with the Nets,” one NBA executive predicted while speaking with Scotto. “A sign-and-trade for Kyrie this summer would be tough given the length needed and assets to make it happen from another team. I think there’s an incentive for an extension on a one-plus-one or two-year deal.
“If I’m Brooklyn, I’m not going past two years. I don’t know if Kyrie would accept that. The Lakers will go into the summer with cap space and can offer two years, $60 million, where he could rejoin LeBron James and play with Anthony Davis.”
Earlier this month, Bobby Marks offered the same sentiments — including contract length in a discussion with Mark W. Sanchez of the Post.
“I don’t think it’s crazy,” Bobby Marks told Sanchez. “I think [Irving returning to the Nets is] probably more likely than not ... “We know what happened early in the year, but he’s warranted at least for now a new contract with Brooklyn.”
“I do still think it’s hard for a team to commit more than two seasons to him,” Bobby Marks added. “I think the days of a four-year, $200 million player — unless it’s Brooklyn, which I don’t think it is — are long gone for him.”
One possibility is tying his extension to Durant’s contract. After this year, it has three years left. Having those two under contract through 2026 would stabilize things. (Ben Simmons deal has two years to run after this season, Joe Harris and Nic Claxton one.)
Irving seems to have gotten past his most recent off-court crisis, his publicizing of an anti-Semitic video at the beginning of the season. That rocked the organization back in October. He’s currently averaging 26.7 points a game and has been a leader on and off the court. This week, he’s averaged 38.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists with shooting splits of 52/50/90. Player of the Week?
Moreover, he’s quietly given around $500,000 to 11 GoFundMe appeals ranging from help to families who’ve lost their homes to fire to families who need a lawyer to rectify legal issues.
The Nets can sign Irving to an extension at any time during the season or wait till after June 30 when he becomes a free agent.
- NBA Notebook: Irving, Siakam, VanVleet, Anunoby, Trent, Conley, Rozier, Clippers, Hornets, McMillan - Mike Scotto - Hoopshype