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Kyrie Irving opting in with Nets

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Kyrie Irving didn’t get the long-term maximum offer from the Nets that he wanted. He also didn’t get the much-needed interest from the Lakers—no ceiling space and no trade packages that Brooklyn, his only other fan, liked.

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So Irving exercises his option for $36,934,550 in Brooklyn.

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Shams Charania from The Athletic:

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The Charania snippet and Irving’s “See you in the fall” phrasing suggest that this is not part of the plug and trade agreement.

Irving has an expiring contract. The Nets can trade him if they want. It depends on them. With this move, Irving loses all tangible leverage.

Intangible… The Brooklyn crisis continues. Relations between Irving and the franchise are strained. Difficult at the best of times, Irving could be a nightmare as he moves towards unlimited free will in 2023. After James Harden forced exchange, this may be the last domino that will lead to Irving and Kevin Duran exit too. Durant is reportedly unhappy with the way the Nets are treating Irving.

Or maybe the lack of guarantees for a long-term contract and lowering his stock as much as possible for such a young and talented player will bring out the best in Irving. Who knows with him? Irving, 30, can always show more commitment to his team and reap the rewards if he does. Brooklyn has a championship lead with Durant and Irving (and I think Ben Simmons).

This is really what makes this situation so unstable. The Nets are no ordinary team dealing with an unfortunate star. They are potential championship contenders with a locked-in superstar dealing with an unfortunate star who befriends the superstar. Irving’s involvement means this drama will be in Brooklyn next season. Look how devastating that tension was during Irving’s last season with the Celtics in Boston.

There is one potential exit: Irving could still sign a contract extension with Brooklyn. The Nets seemed to offer something during several years. Maybe not as much as Irving would like, but he could come to terms with his depressed market and bail. However, after all the fireworks to get to this point, it seems like Irving and Brooklyn are on different pages about how much he’s worth in the long run. It’s hard to know what will change in the summer.

So, Irving and the Nets are gearing up for next season together, with little to no answers. Irving hasn’t exploded the situation yet, but it remains almost as explosive.



Source: nba.nbcsports.com

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