We have movement on the Kyrie Irving extension front.
Or better said, a lack of movement.
All things indicated that the Brooklyn Nets and Irving were headed toward extending their marriage. Just this week, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype reported that NBA executives “believe Irving and the Nets will continue their partnership together beyond this season.” While that may still be true, it appears those talks have hit a bit of an impasse.
Just an hour before the tip-off of Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, a story dropped courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes. The source wasn’t exactly covert. Irving’s agent (and stepmother), Shetellia Irving, told Haynes about the ongoing conversations between the Nets and her godson.
“Around Kyrie and staying with the Nets? I have reached out to the Nets regarding this,” Shetellia Irving said to BR. “We have had no significant conversations to date. The desire is to make Brooklyn home, with the right type of extension, which means the ball is in the Nets’ court to communicate now if their desire is the same.”
The key thing to note is Irving’s mention of the lack of conversation. Clearly, Kyrie’s camp would like to get an extension done before the offseason. The Nets appear to not be in any sort of rush.
The timing for this type of leak is far from coincidental. Irving is coming off one of his finest stretches as a Net, averaging 38.7 points, 7.3 assists, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals, on 52.6/50/90.5 splits in his last three games. Brooklyn is on a two-game winning streak largely because of his heroics while attempting to stay afloat without Kevin Durant.
His tenure in Brooklyn hasn’t exactly been smooth, thus the apparent tendency from the Nets to offer Irving a long-term deal. Irving played just 35 total games last season after electing to not get the mandated COVID-19 vaccine. He then missed eight games at the beginning of this season after being suspended by the team for posting anti-semitic content to his social media channels. Simply committing to Irving for the long haul isn’t as simple as it seems because of his history of missing extended periods of time.
Irving, an unrestricted free agent, is eligible for a four-year, $198 million dollar deal in Brooklyn this offseason. It is widely believed that it’s unlikely that both sides come to this type of deal, despite the apparent push from Irving’s camp through Haynes and Bleacher Report. The Nets abstained from offering Irving any sort of long-term extension in each of the last two off-seasons.
“I think Kyrie ends up with a short extension with the Nets,” one NBA executive predicted while speaking with Scotto.
“I do still think it’s hard for a team to commit more than two seasons to him,” Bobby Marks said as well. “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.”
In short, the pressure has been applied from Irving’s camp. Kyrie is clearly more than happy to extend and remain a Net... at that right place. There are no indications that the Nets plan to move on from Irving. His name hasn’t come up at the trade deadline, and there’s no movement nor noise about the possibility of a sign-and-trade this summer.
Irving is eligible for a contract extension at any point between now and June 30th. From there, he can just re-sign in Brooklyn as a free agent. The real question is if both sides can just meet in the middle.
- ‘Ball Is In the Nets’ Court’ as Kyrie Irving Seeks Long-Term Extension - Chris Haynes - Bleacher Report
- Kyrie Irving wants to make Brooklyn ‘home’ but ‘ball is in the Nets’ court’ - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving’s agent: ‘No significant contract conversations’ with Nets - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving’s agent reaches out to Nets about an extension - Barbara Barker - Newsday