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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Kyrie Irving, Nets headed for divorce?

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving said after the Brooklyn Nets were eliminated from the postseason that he plans on returning to the team next year, but it sounds like the two sides have some issues to work through if they want to make that happen.

Irving has a $36.9 million player option for next season. He has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise it. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, conversations between Irving and the Nets about the star point guard’s future with the team have “gone stagnant.” Sources told Charania that there is an impasse between the two sides that could result in Irving testing free agency.

Kevin Durant is under contract with the Nets through the 2025-26 season. He and Irving are close friends and chose to team up together three years ago. Their time together has not worked out as they had hoped because of injuries and off-court drama with Irving.

A recent report claimed Irving is likely to sign an extension with the Nets largely due to his relationship with Durant and team owner Joe Tsai. There have also been rumblings that Brooklyn does not want to sign Irving to a long-term deal because of all the drama he has brought to the organization. Perhaps a scenario where he does not exercise his player option and instead signs a short-term extension makes the most sense.

Irving could not play in home games for much of this season due to his vaccination status. The year before, he was away from the Nets for a while for personal reasons. The Nets probably feel that there is always going to be something to take his focus away from the court. General manager Sean Marks even hinted at that recently while discussing Irving’s future in Brooklyn.

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