Irving (who signed a four-year, $136 million deal with the Nets in 2019) was approaching the final year of his contract. However, Irving had a player option that would allow him to opt out of his contract, and become a free agent. Then, Irving would be free to join any team he wanted. And after a disappointing season from the Nets, many thought Irving would join the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the only team interested in Irving, after Irving put out a list of teams he would be interested in joining. The list included teams such as the Lakers, the Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers and a few others. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers could have offered him $6 million. Wojnarowski also said a sign-and-trade is possible but cannot be discussed until Thursday. But with Irving accepting his option, he will remain with the Nets for another season.
Irving discussed his decision with The Athletic.
“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving told The Athletic. “I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”
Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds last season. He missed most of the season due to New York’s vaccine mandate. The Nets also acquired guard/forward Ben Simmons last year, and with a healthy Kevin Durant, the Nets are a contender. So, it will be interesting to see what they do next season.