Kyrie Irving is opting into his $37 million player option with the Nets, according to Shams Charania and The Athletic. The Lakers were hoping he’d opt-out and ink a mid-level exception for roughly $6 million, but now it’ll take a trade.
Impossible? No. Unlikely, though.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is opting into his $37 million player option for the 2022-23 season, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned. Irving is bypassing on multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 27, 2022
To break down what’s going on, Irving and the Nets were in a staring contest because Brooklyn wasn’t offering Kyrie the multi-year deal he coveted. Kyrie went public he could opt-out to scare the Nets into either forking over the money or dealing the All-Star to a team that would.
The problem with that plan was that the market for an unreliable Kyrie Irving was thin. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said this morning that the Lakers were the sole team after Irving’s services. That list started and ended with the Lake Show despite Irving placing the Knicks, Clippers and the Heat on his wish list. None of that mattered when the Nets showed Kyrie they were willing to let him walk and accept a mid-level to be LeBron’s sidekick again in Hollywood or opt-in for a one-year “prove it” deal. The Nets now must suffer through one more year of Kyrie or let him scurry to his next pit stop with nothing to show for it.
Barring a major turn of events, Kyrie, KD and Ben Simmons will give this thing one more season. They’ll be a good team provided everyone plays — but as we know, they won’t.