During the 2021 offseason, the Brooklyn Nets hoped to sign Kyrie Irving to a max contract extension. But his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccination made him ineligible to play home games, which stopped talks of a lucrative extension between the two sides. Irving is currently on an expiring contract that will make him a free agent next summer if he does not sign an extension by next season’s deadline. It would allow him to join another team if he decides that he no longer wants to play in Brooklyn.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Kyrie Irving Breaks Silence About Future With the Nets
Irving’s tenure with the Nets has not exactly been a success. He and Kevin Durant have only won a single playoff series in the two seasons that they’ve played together. But despite the lack of postseason success, Irving insists that he does not want to be anywhere else but Brooklyn.
“I don’t really plan on going anywhere. I’m just looking forward to the summer and just building with our guys here,” Irving said to reporters after the Nets’ Game 4 loss to the Boston Celtics, per NetsDaily.
Per NetsDaily, Irving is eligible to sign an extension with the Nets for 4 years, $184 million, or for 5 years, $248 million this offseason. The extension would pay him $42.7 million per year, which would make him the seventh highest-paid player in the NBA.
“When I say I’m here with Kevin (Durant), I think that it really entails us managing this franchise together alongside Joe (Tsai) and Sean (Marks), and just our group of family members that we have in our locker room, in our organization,” Irving continued.
“So, it’s not just about me and Kev, I don’t want to make it just about that. We are cornerstones here, but we have a few other guys that are on contract. And I think we just got to make some moves this offseason, really talk about it, really be intentional about what we’re building, have some fun with it, and make it enjoyable.”
Kyrie: Nets Have To Be ‘Mentally Tougher’ Next Season
The Nets had a rollercoaster of a season to say the least. Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated, injuries to Kevin Durant and Joe Harris, and the trade of James Harden all played a part in the Nets’ untimely demise. But Kyrie says that “outside noise” played a part in the result of the Nets’ season as well.
“Sometimes I feel like the noise on the external world, the outside noise can seep in. I’m not the type of person to allow that to happen, so as we build together as a squad, I just think we need to be tougher mentally and just more honest about what we want to accomplish,” Irving said to reporters per NetsDaily.
“So many things get into our locker room, us not having probably a team balance of what affects us and impacts us, and how much trust we have in one another when things get uncomfortable. We’ve just got to be tested a little bit more.”
In his three years in Brooklyn, Irving has never played a full season with the Nets. It will be interesting to see what effect that has on the team offering him an extension.