By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Just hours after getting permission to explore sign-and-trade opportunities, Kyrie Irving decided to exercise his $36M player option for next season and return to the Nets, per multiple reports.
Irving is eligible to sign an extension up until June 30 with Brooklyn or enter the 2023 as an unrestricted free agent.
However, by opting-in, Irving is eligible to be traded to any of the 29 teams and the hard cap restriction does not apply.
It’s obvious at this point that Irving didn’t find the right opportunity, while the Lakers were presented as the only team interested in taking a gamble with him.
Irving was initially expected to skip the player option and re-sign with the Nets but things have apparently changed during the offseason.
Being unvaccinated forced him to the sidelines for most of the 2021-22 season, according to the health and safety protocols in New York. The situation hurt the Nets’ chances to convert the Big Three combination of Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden to a championship campaign and keeps on delivering damage as Durant seems to be considering his options.