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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

Nets considering drastic move to get rid of Kyrie Irving?

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets may be willing to do anything and everything that it takes to send Kyrie Irving off to Pluto.

Yahoo! Sports’ Vince Goodwill wrote this week to not be surprised if the Nets use the waive-and-stretch provision to get rid of the rabble-rousing guard Irving. Under this provision, Brooklyn would still have to pay Irving’s entire salary but could release him immediately in exchange for “stretching” out the money over twice the number of years left on his deal plus one year.

The seven-time All-Star Irving just opted into the final year of his contract at $36.5 million. That means the Nets would pay out roughly $12 million over the next three seasons via the stretch provision, and Irving would be free to sign with any team. Essentially, they would be paying him in full to go away.

Ideally, the Nets probably want to trade Irving so they can get something in return for him. But the market for Irving appears very dry right now except for one potential trade partner that may saddle the Nets with more salary (when they already have Ben Simmons’ big contract to worry about too).

There is also the alternative possibility that Irving could agree to a buyout with the Nets instead. But that would require the two sides to work together and for Irving to agree to a salary reduction. The relationship between the two sides seems to have deteriorated way too much for that, and Irving is NBPA vice president, creating problematic optics if he were to voluntarily give back some of his salary.

We have seen the stretch provision used before on other outcasted former NBA stars. That method would also give Brooklyn a bit of cap relief and may be on the table if the Nets are really desperate to ditch Irving (so much so that they can stomach paying out his deal over an additional two years).

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