Kyrie Irving has chosen his $36.5 million option with the Brooklyn Nets for next season, he told The Athletic on Monday.
“Ordinary people keep the peace, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving told The Athletic. “I made the decision to participate. See you in the fall. A11even.
Irving made a list of teams that he would like the Nets to work on signing if they couldn’t agree on terms for him to be in Brooklyn, but the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team known to be interested, the sources told Sportzshala’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources have confirmed that, unable to find a deal to sign and trade, Irving plans to implement his player option. He has until 5:00 pm ET on Wednesday to file his registration paperwork.
Irving is no longer eligible to sign and trade. The Nets could still trade him due to his contract expiring, but Irving had no formal voting rights at the potential touchdown spot. He has until June 30 next year to negotiate a contract extension with the Nets before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Irving, 30, averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds last season but played in just 29 regular season games. By choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Irving was ineligible to play in New York due to the city’s obligation to vaccinate employees.
When he did play, Irving reminded everyone how talented he still is, as evidenced by a period in March and April when he scored at least 40 points in four games, including 60 in a win over the Orlando Magic on March 15. .
There were usually long gaps between when he could play on the schedule, until New York City Mayor Eric Adams reversed course in late March and allowed a vaccination exemption for athletes and entertainers. Irving played in all four playoff games as the Nets lost to the Celtics in the first round.
A seven-time All-Star and three-time NBA All-Star, Irving has averaged 27.1 points and 6 assists while shooting 49% from the field and 40.6% from three over the past three seasons. But due to various injuries and other problems off the court, he only played 103 regular season games during that period.
Nick Friedell of Sportzshala contributed to this report.