Kyrie Irving Irving Has Reportedly Been No Longer Available For A Contract Extension With The Nets
Kyrie Irving, as of now, wont be playing for the Nets this season. That may change if Irving decides to get the COVID-19 vaccine or New York City lifts its vaccination mandate, but neither of those appears to be likely at the moment.
Irving will lose half of his seasons salary for the home games he isn't eligible to play in, but will be paid for his road games because of the team's decision not to accommodate him as a part time player. The Nets are looking to move forward, as James Harden stated, with a job to do and purely focusing on winning if they have mastered the game. However, this is a team that was built on the assumption that they would have three superstars in Irving, Harden, and Kevin Durant, but now they have shaky bridges to fill and, for the time being, no real recourse.
Irving isnt suspended, because they can t do that legally in the CBA since he is not violating any league rules, which eliminates any avenue to get that roster spot back. Instead, the Nets will have to go forward with 14 players and a pair of two-ways for this season, one that still has title or bust expectations. There is a question about what this team will look like in the near future, as Kevin Durant signed olympic 4-year extension this offseason, but neither Irving nor Harden have committed beyond this season both have player options for 2022-23.
Irving, who, according to Shams Charania in an interview with The Glue Guys Podcast, will no longer be receiving a $186 million extension offer from the Nets. Both were anticipated to likewise receive and sign max extensions at some point, but he has put pause to those plans.
Irving was willing to sacrifice $16 million in salary for this upcoming year, and $186 million as far as an extension that he will not be offered right now, according to Charania.
Part of the issue for the Nets is that there isnt a viable replacement for Irving on the free agency market even if they don t extend him, as simply adding Hardens max to their 2022-23 books puts them over the limit. As such, the clock will be ticking on possible trade talks with the Nets involving Kyrie, which Charania goes on to note on the pod, and while his value is nowhere near what it was, there are teams that would be interested in dealing for him even if there is rumor that he will retire.
All of this is to say that Irving refusing to get vaccinated has taken a team that had been viewed as chasing the title for years and put their future beyond this season far more in doubt. While Harden signing an extension isnt an absolute certainty, it would be surprising if he did, and with Kyrie apparently not making it into the Nets long-term goals at the moment, the team must look at what Plan B looks like for building around Durant.