Kyrie Irving says he picked Brooklyn Nets’ $36.5 million option

Kyrie Irving told The Athletic on Monday that he took his $36.5 million option next season with the Brooklyn Nets.

“Ordinary people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us to tomorrow,” Owen told The Athletic. “I’ve decided to join. See you in the fall. A11even.”

Irving has created a roster that he would like the Nets to consider a sign-and-trade with them if they can’t agree on the terms of his stay in Brooklyn, but the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team known to be interested , sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Unable to find a sign-and-trade deal, Irving decided to exercise his player option, sources confirmed. He has until Wednesday to make a decision.

Irving is now no longer eligible for a sign-and-trade. The Nets could still trade him as an expiring contract, but Irving doesn’t have an official say on potential landing spots.

The 30-year-old Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds last season but played in only 29 regular-season games. Due to the decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Irving is ineligible to play in New York City, which requires employees to be vaccinated.

When he played, Irving reminded everyone how talented he still is, as evidenced by his at least 40 points in four games in March and April, including a 60-point win over the Orlando Magic on March 15.

Before New York City Mayor Eric Adams changed course in late March and allowed athletes and performers to be exempt from vaccinations, there was often a wide gap between when he could play on a schedule. Irving played in all four of the Nets’ first-round playoff losses to the Celtics.

A seven-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, Irving has averaged 27.1 points and six assists per game over the past three seasons while shooting 49 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range. But due to various injuries and other off-court issues, Irving only played 103 regular-season games during that span.

ESPN’s Nick Friedel contributed to this report.


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