Kyrie Irving has decided to opt into his contract for 2022/23, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. By exercising the $36.9MM option, Irving is bypassing multiple opt-in-and-trade scenarios in order to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant, according to Charania The opt-in closes the door on the possibility of Kyrie Irving of taking a massive pay cut and signing with a new team, such as the Lakers, for the mid-level exception. However, it’s unlikely the drama surrounding Kyrie will end any time soon — since he’s now on track for unrestricted free agency in 2023, he could reemerge as a trade candidate within the next year if he and the Nets don’t agree to an extension. By exercising his option, Irving is now both extension- and trade-eligible, though it doesn’t sound as if either is happening in coordination with the opt-in. The seven-time All-Star will remain extension-eligible up until next June 30 and could tack on up to four years to his expiring deal.
If Irving signs an extension exceeding two years, he would become ineligible to be traded for the next six months; if he’s traded, he would be ineligible to sign an extension longer than two years for the next six months.
On the Nets other two prominent free agents — Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton — Fischer said that “everyone” among Nets brass seems to be “motivated” to bring Brown back, but he is, again, he’s “not sure about Claxton.” He notes that the Nets did talk to at least one team — the Raptors — about dealing the 23-year-old big at the deadline. He wondered aloud whether the Nets would match if another team offered Claxton a “monster” deal in free agency. June 29 is also a big day for Claxton. The Nets have until then to sign Claxton to a deal as high as $55 million over four years. After that, he’s a restricted free agent.
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The Brooklyn Nets have deferred the 2022 first-round pick owed to them by the Philadelphia 76ers until 2023, the team confirmed to reporters on Wednesday. The pick was acquired in February's James Harden-Ben Simmons blockbuster trade, and it will be unprotected next season. Brooklyn's decision could potentially be beneficial for both sides.
For Brooklyn, the decision is largely an upside play. Harden has not yet made a decision on his $47 million player option, and he will turn 33 after an underwhelming second half in Philadelphia. Joel Embiid has dealt with injuries throughout his career as well, so if things go badly for the 76ers, the Nets stand to benefit significantly.
The 76ers are less concerned with the long term than the Nets appear to be. With an aging Harden and Embiid as an injury risk, they want to win right now, and that pick gives them an extra asset to work with.
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