Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets and appears ready to suit up for the team for at least one more season, according to multiple reports.
Irving confirmed the decision to The Athletic. He had until Wednesday to decide whether to opt in and had reportedly received permission to seek a sign-and-trade deal with other teams.
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“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall,” Irving told The Athletic.
He added a cryptic tweet that read, “I know who I am.”
He will be owed $36.9 million for the final year of his deal with the Nets. He and Kevin Durant signed with Brooklyn simultaneously in 2019. Durant signed an extension with Brooklyn last summer.
According to ESPN, Irving couldn’t find a sign-and-trade partner and plans to return to the Nets next season. The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly the only team that was interested in doing a deal with Irving.
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Brooklyn has yet to officially announce the opt-in.
On Friday, Durant opened up about the Irving situation a bit and said he won’t be getting involved.
“There’s no involvement at all. I mean, I can’t be involved with … this is this man’s livelihood, you know?” Durant told “The ETCs” podcast. “This is much bigger than me. Being a free agent is one of the most important times in your career. That can’t be swayed by anybody else. I just do me and wait for the time.
“There’s nothing that can happen right now. I don’t think he can even make a decision on opting out until the 29th, I think. So I just kinda let things play out and see what happens. Keep the regular contact with Ky, and we’ll see what happens. It’s something that’s so much out of my control that I don’t want to be a part of it. We’ll see what happens though.”
Irving has only played in 103 games for the Nets through three seasons. Injuries and his refusal to comply with New York City’s coronavirus vaccine mandate cost him several games. He is averaging 27.1 points, 6 assists and 4.7 rebounds in those games.
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The Nets only have one playoff-series victory since Durant and Irving joined the team.