Nets’ Kyrie Irving Makes Groundbreaking Move with Future in Mind

Nets star Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets gestures during the second quarter against the Washington Wizards.

Kyrie Irving signed a four-year, $136.5 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019. The All-Star point guard, along with Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan, joined the Nets intending to turn the franchise into championship contenders.

Irving appeared in only 20 games in his first season with the Nets due to a right shoulder injury. He averaged 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists and didn’t play in the 2020 playoffs.

The one-time champion followed up his first year in Brooklyn by averaging 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 2020-21. Irving became the ninth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50.0% from the field, 40.0% from beyond the arc and 90.0% from the free-throw line, joining Larry Bird (2x), Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash (4x), Dirk Nowitzki, Stephen Curry and Malcolm Brogdon.

This season has been a chaotic one for Irving, who has only played in 15 games. The Duke product is unvaccinated against COVID-19, so he can’t play in home games due to New York City’s vaccine mandate. The Nets are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings and would be in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.

Irving is fined $381,181 for every game he misses due to not meeting COVID-19 protocols. His contract is slated to pay him $34,916,200 this season. However, the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year will miss out on $15,628,421 because of fines.

When Irving signed with the Nets in 2019, he was represented by Roc Nation and Jeff Wchsler. The seven-time All-Star parted ways with Roc Nation in July 2021 and hasn’t had an agent this season, until now.

Irving Hires New Agent

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving has hired Shetellia Riley Irving as his new agent. Riley Irving is Kyrie’s stepmother and the VP of ad sales at BET, per Ian Begley of SNY.

Riley Irving is believed to be the only Black woman currently representing an NBA player as an agent. Kyrie’s birth mother passed away when he was young.

Irving has a player option for the 2022-23 season worth $36,503,300. If he declines it, the 29-year-old would become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. If Irving picks up the player option, he would be an unrestricted free agent with full Bird rights in the summer of 2023.

According to Keith Smith of Spotrac, there are a few ways Irving can go about things this offseason in regards to his contract. Now that the All-NBA guard has an agent, it will be fascinating to see what he does.

Irving Has a Few Options

Per Smith, Irving can either pick up his 2022-23 player option, sign a veteran extension or full max contract with the Nets or sign a max contract with another team.

Here’s what Smith had to say about the veteran extension: “It’s important to note that there are three ways Irving could do this type of extension. He could opt out for 2022-23 now and sign a four-year extension starting next season. Or Irving could opt-in for 2022-23 and sign a three-year extension. Or he could opt-in after this season and then add four years on to that.”

Smith believes a veteran extension for Irving would be around $189,728,000. Meanwhile, he thinks a full max with the Nets would pay the guard $245,630,000.

All eyes in Brooklyn will be on Irving this summer so see what he does with his player option. Now that Uncle Drew finally has an agent, all options could be on the table.

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