“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving said, per Charania. “I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall.”
While his decision to opt in closes one chapter of the ongoing situation between Irving and the Nets, this story may be far from over. The Nets were reportedly “unwilling” to sign the seven-time All-Star guard to a long-term contract due to the vaccination saga and his “unpredictable injury history.” According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Nets owner Joe Tsai supported the front office’s decision to not offer him a full max deal worth around $250 million over five years.
Charania reported last week that Irving would ultimately opt in and push for a trade afterwards.
With Irving entering the final year of his contract, the Nets could face a situation similar to James Harden in which Kyrie makes his intentions to leave clear, forcing the team to determine if he can be convinced to stay or run the risk of him leaving and getting nothing in return.
Complex News’ Pierce Simpson asked Irving on the BET Awards red carpet Sunday if he still wanted to be a member of the Nets, and he deferred to his stepmother and agent Shetellia Riley Irving.
Irving received permission from the Nets to seek a sign-and-trade ahead of his decision to opt in. While the Lakers were the only team that emerged as an interested suitor, there reportedly wasn’t a trade package that could move the needle for Brooklyn.