Based on a new report, the expectation is that the Brooklyn Nets will give superstar guard Kyrie Irving a new long-term contract extension.
There has been a great deal of scuttlebutt about Irving’s future in Brooklyn. Following their stunning first-round elimination and sweep by the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs, Kyrie Irving confirmed his desire to return to the Nets for the 2022-2023 season. However, a week later, general manager Sean Marks made comments that made the long-term future between the player and team seem less than guaranteed.
In the end, Irving has until the end of June to decide if he will play in New York for at least one more season. Barring a significant issue developing between both sides in the next few weeks, the expectation is Irving will opt-in to the $36.5 million he has left on his deal. However, a new report claims the Nets are still “likely” to offer the seven-time All-Star a long-term extension.
On Monday, the New York Post’s Brian Lewis reported that “both Nets and league sources told [outlet] an extension is more likely.” The move is not a surprise considering Irving’s friendship with the team’s top star Kevin Durant, and the fact that the outlet also mentions a bond with Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Two options for a ‘likely’ Brooklyn Nets-Kyrie Irving contract extension
Since Kyrie Irving has missed a great deal of time for the Brooklyn Nets over the last three seasons due to injuries and his disinterest in getting vaccinated for COVID-19, his next contract may not be a run-of-the-mill max deal. So how might that pact look?
Irving has only played 60 games or more five times during his 11-year career. While he will certainly want every dollar he can get, the Nets need to protect themselves in the very likely scenario that he misses significant time again in the future.
NBA salary cap expert Bobby Marks recently offered up two incentivized routes the Nets could go on a long-term deal with the 30-year-old.
One would be a three-year max extension that was 100% guaranteed in the final year if he played at least 60 games in the next two seasons. The second option would be an annual $6 million bonus for making 65 appearances each season. That would be a three-year deal worth $138 million. With $120 million guaranteed and $18 million in bonuses that Irving is unlikely to reach based on his history.