Nets Take Strong Stance on Kyrie Irving’s Looming Free Agency

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.

After failing to agree on the terms of a max contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets last offseason, Kyrie Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. This season for Irving has been a complete 180 from 2022, where he missed most of the year for being unvaccinated. He has helped lead the Nets to be one of the top teams in the East, sitting in 4th place with a record of 31-19.

But even with the success Brooklyn has had this season, NBA insider Marc Stein says the Nets are still in no rush to sign Kyrie to a long-term deal.

“As Kyrie Irving’s agent and stepmother Shetellia Riley-Irving told my podcast partner Chris Haynes in a Bleacher Report story last week, Irving hopes to sign a contract extension with the Nets — but substantive talks between the sides have yet to begin,” Stein writes via his Substack account.

“Some league observers have posited that this could be by design on Brooklyn’s part, with the Nets apparently convinced that they are under no pressure to move swiftly on the extension front when Irving would likely need their help via sign-and-trade to relocate in the offseason to any other team he likes. The Nets were on a stunning 18-2 surge when Kevin Durant was sidelined by a knee sprain on Jan. 8 and have gone 4-6 with Irving as their solo scoring force.”

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Kyrie Irving’s Agent Sounds off on Looming Free Agency

Irving has had as impressive a season as any point guard in the league this year. The Nets star averages 27.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. He is statistically the most clutch player in the NBA this season, with a league-leading 9.3 points per game in the 4th quarter.

There has been speculation on if Irving could decide to part ways with Brooklyn. And despite whatever baggage he may come with off the court, any team would be glad to add an all-world talent like his to their roster. But as far as Irving’s future is concerned, his agent and stepmother, Shetelia Riley-Irving, says that the decision is up to the Nets.

“Around Kyrie and staying with the Nets? I have reached out to the Nets regarding this,” Riley-Irving said to Bleacher Report.

“We have had no significant conversations to date. The desire is to make Brooklyn home, with the right type of extension, which means the ball is in the Nets’ court to communicate now if their desire is the same.”

Breanna Stewart Makes Revelation About Kevin Durant

Perhaps Irving’s co-star Kevin Durant could convince him to stay in Brooklyn if he does decide he wants to move on. Durant was one of the main people helping recruit WNBA star Breanna Stewart to Brooklyn to join the New York Liberty. On February 1, Stewart announced she would join the Liberty this season. After she made it official, Stewart revealed that KD’s recruiting pitch to her started two summers ago during the Tokyo Olympics.

“I have not heard from [Kevin Durant] today, I’m sure I’ll hear from him soon. He definitely wrote me a couple of weeks ago & said I would be a dynasty if I came. We talked about it a while back at the Olympics,” Stewart said during a February 1 appearance on ESPN’s “NBA Today”.

She also noted that playing in a major market was a factor in her joining the Liberty.

“I wanted to continue to be great & I want to go to place where I continue this league to become better. To continue to raise the standard, why not go to the biggest market in all of sports,” Stewart added.

After Stewart’s announcement, If Irving does decide to re-sign with the
Nets, Brooklyn could have two super teams in the future.