By: Nina Samone
Recent news on Kyrie Irving states that he will be exercising his player option with the Brooklyn Nets, but what does that mean?
What is a Player Option?
In simple terms, according to the NBA, a player option allows the player to decide if they would like to remain with their team for another year or become an unrestricted free agent. If the player decides to exercise their player option, the contract would extend through that season. If it is not exercised, that player then becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Player options cannot be conditional (based on other factors) or revoked.
Irving Player Option Details
On Monday, Irving told The Athletic that he will be opting into his $36.5 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets for next season.
This makes Irving no longer eligible for a sign-and-trade deal – which may not be too much of a con as the only team that reportedly was interested were the Los Angeles Lakers. Irving will have until June 30th of next year to figure out an extension with Brooklyn before he would become an unrestricted free agent.
Irving is a seven-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, averaging over 27 points, 6 assists and shooting 49% from the field over the past three seasons.
Due to injuries and his refusal to get vaccinated, Irving has only played 103 regular-season games during that time.
What Does This Likely Mean?
With Irving set to begin next season in Brooklyn, it has likely ended any Kevin Durant trade speculation.
Losing Irving after having recently lost James Harden to Philadelphia may have caused tension on the Nets team as far as Kevin Durant goes – who came to the Nets in 2019 with Irving – and may have eliminated them entirely from the conversation for a ring next season.
Irving’s decision to stay potentially puts the Nets in a great position for next season as being one of the better teams in the Eastern conference. Durant, Irving and a healthy Ben Simmons working together next season could spell great success and excitement for Brooklyn fans and the franchise.
June 2022. “Free Agency explained.” NBA. <https://www.nba.com/news/free-agency-explained>
Friedell, Nick. June 2022. ESPN. “Kyrie Irving says he’s opting in to $36.5 million option with Brooklyn Nets.” < https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34158320/kyrie-irving-says-opting-365-million-option-brooklyn-nets>
Quinn, Sam. June 27th, 2022. CBS Sports. “Kyrie Irving will opt into final year of $37 million deal with Nets.” <https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/kyrie-irving-will-opt-into-final-year-of-37-million-deal-with-nets/>
IMAGE SOURCE: NetsDaily