The Brooklyn Nets decided Kyrie Irving won’t be able to play for them until he’s eligible to be a full-time participant. As of right now, that means getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which he doesn’t want to do.
Well, it looks like the Nets have also made the decision not to offer Irving the lucrative extension he’s eligible for right now. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported this on The Glue Guys podcast:
“He was willing to sacrifice, at the end of the day, 16 million dollars in salary this upcoming year and 186 million dollars, as far as an extension, that he will not be offered now.”
— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) October 13, 2021
This isn’t all that surprising given the circumstances. The Nets have no idea if Irving is going to play at all this season, or if he’s even going to be on their roster down the line. There have been rumblings about a possible trade, so it makes sense not to offer him a whopping extension right now because of all the mystery .
The Nets already signed Kevin Durant to an extension in the offseason. James Harden is also eligible to sign one, but he seems a bit hesitant to lock himself him. While Harden could very well wind up signing an extension in the next week before the season starts, nothing seems imminent at the moment.
This Kyrie Irving situation is bringing plenty of drama to a team that entered training camp as the clear-cut favorite to win the title in 2021-22. The Nets could still easily win the championship this season given the wealth of talent on the roster, but the Irving mess is hanging over this team like a dark cloud. If he sticks to his guns and won’t get the jab, Brooklyn might have no choice but to pull the trigger on a trade.
That would be pretty crazy after Irving and Durant came as a package deal to Brooklyn, but a lot has changed since then.