The Brooklyn Nets could be losing Kyrie Irving this summer as the two sides remain far apart on a contract extension, per Shams Charania. Irving has a player option for next season and could explore free agency if he doesn’t get the extension he feels he deserves. The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are expected to be contenders to land Irving should he hit the open market, per Charania.
Sources: Kyrie Irving, Nets are at impasse in conversations about his future in Brooklyn, clearing way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open market. Lakers and Knicks expected to emerge among potential suitors.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2022
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Irving was under fire this season after he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination to comply with New York City’s mandate. The point guard was not with the team until a COVID outbreak across the NBA forced the Nets to bring him back for games where he was eligible to play. Eventually, Irving became a full-time player when the city lifted its mandate.
The point guard remains one of the best offensive players in the league when he’s on the floor and is a close friend of Kevin Durant, so the Nets have some incentive to get this deal done. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Nets are +650 to win the 2022-23 NBA title. That’ll change significantly if Irving leaves this summer.