Kyrie Irving is opting into his $36.5 million option with the Brooklyn Nets for next season, he told The Athletic on Monday.
“Ordinary people make the world run, but those who dare to be different lead us into the future,” Irving told The Athletic. “I’ve made my decision to sign up. See you in the fall. A11even.”
Irving had made a list of teams he wished the Nets would work on a sign-and-trade if they couldn’t agree on terms for his stay in Brooklyn, but the Los Angeles Lakers were the only one well-known team are interested, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
With no way of finding a sign-and-trade deal, Irving plans to exercise his player option, sources confirmed. He has until 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday to file the paperwork to sign up.
Irving is now no longer eligible for the sign-and-trade. The Nets could still work to trade him in as an expiring contract, but Irving would have no formal vote in a potential landing spot. He has until June 30 next year to work out an extension with the Nets before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Irving, 30, averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds last season but only played in 29 regular-season games. The decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 barred Irving from playing in New York City due to a city immunization requirement for employees.
As he played, Irving reminded everyone how talented he still is, as evidenced by a stretch in March and April when he had at least 40 points in four games, including 60 in a March 15 win over the Orlando Magic.
There were usually big gaps in between when he could play on schedule, until late March when New York City Mayor Eric Adams reversed course and allowed athletes and performers to be vaccinated. Irving played in all four games of the Nets’ first-round loss to the Celtics in the playoffs.
A seven-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA pick, Irving has averaged 27.1 points and 6 assists over the past three seasons while shooting 49% from the field and 40.6% from 3. But due to a host of injuries and other off-the-pitch troubles, he has only played 103 regular-season games in that span.
ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34158320/kyrie-irving-says-opting-365-million-option-brooklyn-nets Kyrie Irving says he’s opting in to $36.5 million option with Brooklyn Nets