Report: Kyrie Irving To Opt-In To Deal and Stay With Brooklyn Nets

NBA: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving has reportedly decided to opt-in to his contract, and will remain a member of the Nets for his original four-year commitment.

Sources told ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst that without the ability to find a sign-and-trade deal, Kyrie Irving will exercise his $36M player option for next season and return to the Nets.

“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving said in a statement. “I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”

The Brooklyn Nets reportedly gave Irving permission to seek a sign-and-trade, according to various outlets on Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there were no known teams planning sign-and-trades for Nets G Kyrie Irving other than the Lakers.

Woj reported that no official sign-and-trade discussions could take place until after 6 p.m. on Thursday, and Brooklyn wasn’t thought to be interested in any of the potential Lakers packages.

According to Wojnarowski, if Irving rejected his $36 million player option, he would have been eligible to sign with the Lakers for the $6 million exception. The deadline to choose an option was Wednesday.

Irving allegedly desired a long-term contract with the Nets at first, but talks between both parties stalled due to the organization’s reservations about Irving’s commitment to playing.

For most of this past season, Irving wasn’t eligible to play in home games, where a New York law previously required professional players on one of the city’s teams to get vaccinated before practicing or playing in public places.

The October debacle of Irving refusing to get vaccinated even caused rumors of retirement to creep out, which Irving firmly denied.

In April, Irving defended his decision to not get vaccinated, stating, “I can really say that I stood firm on what I believed in, what I wanted to do with my body. I think that should be not just an American right, I think that should be a human right.”

Kyrie’s decision to stay might have an influence on his teammate, Kevin Durant, who has allegedly not had contact with the front office since April when the Nets were defeated in the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard sparked rumors of a possible Durant trade when he posted a pic of the two on his instagram story.