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The Brooklyn Nets have few options better than bringing back All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, so all signs continue to point toward an eventual reunion this offseason.
As reported by the New York Post, league sources and sentiment from within the Nets organization expect the team and Irving to reach an agreement on a new contract and extend their hunt for an NBA title.
While Irving and the Nets look to reach a new deal, amid reports of a potential schism or trade-in play, word around NY is that both sides will likely agree to an extension that will allow Kyrie to play for max money while the Nets remain protected from any missed time.
“I agree most [likely] he comes back,” an NBA source alerted the Post. “As for a contract, I’d probably try to get him back at an annual rate at what he is currently making. They could give him a contract below the max with unlikely incentives that allows him to reach the max. Unlikely incentives are capped at 15 percent of a player’s salary in a given year. So they can make his salary 15 percent less than the max, then give incentives to allow him to get the full max.”
The source noted, “He would have to opt-out and negotiate a new contract with those new incentives.”
Irving proved that he is capable of elite production, even coming off the couch.
The All-Star previously attested to feeling like the Nets had no plan to reintegrate the 30-year-old into Brooklyn’s regular-season and postseason goals, coming off his COVID suspensions.
Still, Irving averaged 26.9 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 54 games with the Nets last year.
Nets general manager Sean Marks — who championed the team-mandated COVID restrictions placed on Kyrie the last offseason, limiting him from home games and practice — said that the decision currently falls on Kyrie. Marks added that the team would like a strong sense of commitment from Irving after missing 53 games in 2021-22 over the team’s vaccine mandate.
“It’d be unfair for me to comment on how it looks with us and Kyrie, because to be quite frank he has some decisions to make on his own. So he has to look at what he’s going to do with his player option,” Marks said back in May. “We’re looking for guys that want to come in here and be part of something bigger than themselves, play selfless, play team basketball, and be available.”
“I agree that he will be back,” said former Nets GM Bobby Marks, adding, “A contract that includes games played doesn’t trigger every season as it relates to his salary.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela