Kyrie Irving Came Close To Extension Agreement With Nets

Kyrie Irving and the Nets were close to agreeing on a contract extension last week before negotiations stalled, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Without an extension and with limited prospects of an acceptable sign-and-trade deal, Irving will pick up his $36.9MM option for next season.

Before Irving reached the decision, his agent (and stepmother) Shetellia Riley Irving and Brooklyn’s front office had “productive extension discussions” over the past week, according to Charania. They considered multiple proposals, including a maximum extension that would have been limited to two years and would have provided incentives based on the number of games that Irving plays.

The sides also discussed a four-year max deal with two guaranteed seasons, along with triggers for years three and four based on Irving’s game totals for the first two seasons of the contract.

Irving was willing to accept a contract with incentives, Charania adds, but Brooklyn turned down his final offer, which was a short-term extension with protections for him and the team, along with a player option. Incentives based on how often Irving plays are important to the Nets because he has appeared in just 103 regular season games in his three seasons in Brooklyn.

According to Charania, three teams were had interest in Irving under an opt-in-and-trade scenario, but he decided not to pursue those opportunities. One of those teams may have been the Lakers, who were reportedly the only club on Irving’s wish list of six potential destinations that showed interest. However, Charania hears that L.A.’s preference was to sign Irving as a free agent rather than via trade.

Irving’s decision to opt in doesn’t guarantee that his future will be in Brooklyn, Charania adds. With unrestricted free agency looming in 2023, the Nets could explore deals for him this summer or once the season starts. Owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks will have to decide whether the current roster can contend for a title or if major changes will be needed.

Charania also suggests there are “matters of contention” among the Nets’ ownership, management, and stars that must be addressed as all parties move forward.

Several teams remain interested in acquiring Irving, according to Charania, but they may be inclined to wait until he reaches free agency rather than part with valuable assets in a trade. Sources tell Charania that Irving is now focused on winning a championship and rebuilding his reputation in hopes of earning a maximum contract from someone next summer.

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