NBA rumors: Nets GM: Team hasn't had conversations with Kyrie Irving yet about his contract

Talks between Irving, Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai have yet to happen. “I look forward to [it],” Marks told YES Network. “We have not had a conversation yet. So I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, and what he needs from us and so forth. “So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”

More on Kyrie Irving Free Agency

If Irving opts out, he would be eligible for a four-year, $189.7 million extension or even a five-year, $245.6 million deal, with only the Nets able to offer him the fifth year. If he picks up his option, he could ink extensions of either three or four years, picking up in 2023-24, but that would require leaving more than $5 million on the table next season. The Nets should be expected to try to protect themselves, either with a shorter deal or baked-in incentives. Irving’s current four-year, $136 million deal contains a total of $4.3 million in incentives, per Spotrac, with $3 million of that so-called “unlikely bonuses.”
Irving has a player option worth $36.9 million that there’s a good possibility he will decline. He would be eligible to re-sign with the Nets this offseason for up to five years, $247.6 million. He could also decline his player option and avoid free agency by extending with the Nets for up to four years, $191.3 million. If he were to leave Brooklyn, he can sign with a new team for up to four years, $183.6 million.
Brian Lewis: Kyrie Irving on prospect of extending with the #Nets long term: “It has always been about being comfortable loving where I'm at, and I love it here. Once that summertime hits, I know that we'll have some conversations; but there's no way I can leave my man seven anywhere.” #nba
The Brooklyn Nets included about $1 million in yearly performance-based incentives into maximum contracts for both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a tweak that allowed them to maneuver to fit contracts for DeAndre Jordan and second-round pick Nicolas Claxton into cap space, according to contract data obtained by ESPN. Both deals have player options in their fourth seasons, meaning Durant and Irving can hit free agency again in the summer of 2022.
Irving's contract is especially interesting: eight separate incentives -- $125,000 each, all deemed "unlikely" -- and thus not included in Irving's current cap hit. Irving's initial salary for 2019-20 is $31,720,000 -- exactly $1 million short of his maximum. Hitting all eight bonuses would make up the difference.
Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t surprised Irving, Durant and even DeAndre Jordan chose the Nets. Jordan was Smith’s teammate in Dallas and New York last season. “I wasn’t surprised, to be honest with you. People in the league talk anyway. They just keep it private. People in the league talk,” Smith said. “They’re great players but I like what we have, to be honest with you. I know there are a lot of hecklers out there and talking this that and the third. But I like what we have and I’m not really concerned with what’s going on in Brooklyn.”
Brian Lewis: Kyrie Irving on his own Instagram feed about joining the #Nets team he grew up in Jersey rooting for: "In my heart I knew I always wanted to play at home, and home is where my heart is." #NBA @kyrieirving…
Anthony Puccio: Kyrie Irving’s post on Instagram 1 hour ago: “The journey is the reward” “Eye only know what’s best for me...” “Family first.”
Free-agent All-NBA star Kevin Durant plans to sign a four-year, $164 million contract to play for the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told ESPN. Durant will join free agents Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, who also plan to sign with the franchise, league sources said.
Durant will miss next season with his Achilles tear but Irving will join a club that made the playoffs last season. Durant will be 32 when he returns from his injury. One NBA source said the Knicks weren’t 100 percent sold on Irving as a solo man if he didn’t also come with Durant. The Knicks had some concerns about Irving’s leadership after the Celtics had internal strife.
Marks has them perfectly positioned as a top-tier free agent destination with nearly $69 million in salary cap room and a talented young core group remaining from a 42-40 playoff team. Multiple NBA sources have indicated to Newsday that point guard Kyrie Irving is a virtual certainty to sign with the Nets, and it could happen quickly because Irving reportedly has been courting forward Kevin Durant and can signal his commitment by agreeing to a maximum-salary deal worth $141 million over four years.
Six-time All-Star free agent guard Kyrie Irving is meeting with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday in New York with both sides motivated to reach a deal on a four-year, $141 million maximum contract, league sources told ESPN. Irving, who's leaving the Boston Celtics, is a part of a bold two-part plan to acquire Irving and All-NBA forward Kevin Durant in free agency, league sources tell ESPN.
Durant remains interested with the Nets and is expected to speak with them this week, sources said. Irving and Durant have built a strong relationship.
Multiple NBA sources have indicated to Newsday that point guard Kyrie Irving is a virtual certainty to sign with the Nets, and it could happen quickly because Irving reportedly has been courting forward Kevin Durant and can signal his commitment by agreeing to a maximum-salary deal worth $141 million over four years.
The Nets are focused on adding a point guard-power forward combination. Although early reports said they would consider pairing Irving and restricted free agent All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, an NBA source told Newsday that is unlikely. Marks plans on landing two top-tier stars, and the gaping hole at power forward is a prime concern.
Durant and Leonard are planning to talk with each of those teams once free agency opens Sunday at 6 PM ET, league sources said. Leonard and Durant are each planning discussions and meetings with several teams, but only Clippers and Knicks are in alignment with salary cap space and common interest to sign both players. Brooklyn could conceivably house both, but a more likely scenario would be Durant and point guard Kyrie Irving signing as free agents with the Nets. Brooklyn is firmly Irving's focus in free agency, league sources said.
Meanwhile, All-Star Kyrie Irving is fully focused on a potential deal with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources have told The Athletic. League sources say the Nets’ goals center upon forming a trio of Irving, Durant and free-agent center DeAndre Jordan. That is part of the intrigue in Brooklyn, the ability to take one commitment from Irving and turn it into the capability to sign all three. A trio of that magnitude should compete for multiple NBA championships in the Eastern Conference.
On Jan. 9, the Celtics blitzed the Indiana Pacers at home, then flew out that night to Miami, arriving at the team hotel after 2 a.m. on Thursday. Boston was set to play the Miami Heat that night, but, team sources said, that didn't stop some of the young players from heading to South Beach, where the clubs stay open well past 5 a.m. It's not uncommon for NBA players to go out when they're on the road, but Irving was irked teammates decided to do it in the middle of back-to-back games. The Celtics ended up submitting a lackluster effort in a 115-99 drubbing at the hands of the Heat.
Stevens had regular discussions with Irving throughout the season, and Kyrie once praised Stevens as "a great basketball mind." By season's end, Irving had publicly questioned his coach's tactics and management of the roster. "Kyrie really put Brad through the ringer," one Celtics staffer noted. Stevens repeatedly blamed himself for his team's mounting losses, vowing to do better, while his coaches became increasingly concerned about the toll it was exacting on their head coach. "He really beat himself up for how things went," says Micah Shrewsberry, who left the Celtics to become Purdue's associate head coach. "I know right now Brad's watching every game 10 times over trying to figure out what he can do better."
"I want Kyrie to find happiness," Stevens says. "If he does move on, I wish him nothing but good health and success. I saw a lot of great qualities in him." Those qualities have been muted by the scorn of a jilted fan base that feels duped and betrayed by its point guard and his soon-to-be former teammates, who seemingly were assembled for a memorable title run. "I really don't think it's anyone's fault," Stevens says. "If you blame anyone, it's me. I'm the guy who couldn't fit the pieces."
Though the Nets clearly aren’t unaware of all the drama that went down in Boston or the reputation that precedes Irving, their dream scenario remains signing both he and Kevin Durant.
The Knicks also are hopeful for a free-agent meeting with 2019 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, according to a source, and have interest in New York City native Kemba Walker and New Jersey native Kyrie Irving.
For weeks, most plugged-in reporters have pegged Brooklyn as Kyrie Irving's preferred choice. With free agency less than a week away, that still appears true, per sources across the league.
Mark Murphy: Smart surprised by apparent departures of Irving and Horford, but looks forward to re-setting the culture.
A majority of the executives -- about 75 percent -- said that on talent alone Irving was still worth $8 million to $10 million more than Russell. But about half of those said if the salary gap widened to that level, concerns about chemistry would have them leaning toward sticking with Russell in scenarios that do not include Durant.
Durant and Irving, league sources say, have met twice in recent weeks to discuss their desire to continue their careers on the same team, an idea forged while playing together on the U.S. national team. The first meeting took place in the Bay Area while Durant nursed a strained right calf; the second occurred in New York shortly after Durant had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Irving, meanwhile, also recently purchased a new home in South Orange, New Jersey, but league sources say he is pressing Durant to join him with the Nets and is trying to recruit Jordan as well. Durant did have his Achilles repaired by a Nets team physician, Dr. Martin O'Malley, but the New York Post's Mark Fischer quoted one of O'Malley's medical colleagues warning not to read too much into that.
The chance to form a star powerhouse in Los Angeles may be enough to entice someone like Irving to team up once again with James, even if he's getting a slight haircut in starting salary. The buzz around the league, however, is that Irving will leave the Boston Celtics to sign with the Brooklyn Nets ("the worst-kept secret of the summer," according to one executive), possibly to team up with Kevin Durant despite his Achilles injury.
ESPN's Jackie MacMullan explained Irving's disdain for the city on the "Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective" podcast. "Kyrie Irving didn't like Boston," MacMullan said. "I've been told this by many people. He didn't like living in Boston. He just didn't. By the end, he had issues with Brad [Stevens]. By the end, he had issues with Danny [Ainge]. By the end, he had issues with pretty much all of us."
"One thing I'm told is he is really focused on making his decision independently of anyone else and that includes Kyrie Irving," said Wojnarowski. "He's at a point in his career where he's going to decide really essentially on a four-year deal elsewhere or a five-year deal with Golden State, where he's going to spend the rest of his prime."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Boston has offered center Aron Baynes -- $5.4M expiring contract -- into salary cap space elsewhere, league sources tell ESPN. Without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford on the books, moving Baynes without taking back salary could get the Celtics to $23M in space.
The question is if they can’t land Durant, do they still want Irving? Especially if they have to lose D’Angelo Russell — their own 23-year-old homegrown All-Star — to get him? It’s a question that has turned into a civil war among the fan base. It also has become an internal debate the Nets are having right now. The Post has confirmed Brooklyn might have qualms about signing the enigmatic Irving if he isn’t bringing the injured Durant with him.
Sources close to both the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving believe they’re “close” to a done deal – if it’s not already done. Brooklyn’s goal is to nab Irving and pair him up with Kevin Durant, who will be sidelined for the duration of the 2019-2020 season. “Everything I’ve heard is that it’s a done deal,” one source close to both sides said about Kyrie and the Nets.
Word is that the Nets’ guard Spencer Dinwiddie, after a breakout season on the floor, has had a significant role in recruiting Irving to Brooklyn. Irving’s recent decision to change his representation to Roc Nation, with its well-chronicled ties to the Nets through Jay-Z, has only amplified the notion that the Nets are the overwhelming favorites to land Irving.
There has mostly been radio silence from Irving’s camp, and that could be partly because his camp has undergone a makeover. Irving last week fired his longtime agent, Jeff Wechsler, and reportedly intends to sign with Roc Nation Sports. The Athletic reported Monday that Irving and the Celtics could meet sometime before the draft. Obviously the Celtics would like to have some idea about his plans before deciding how to use their picks.
Irving, if you have not noticed, certainly marches to his own beat. I think he is planning to leave, but it also wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world if he just re-signed with Boston, looked around, and said, “What was all the fuss about? I told you guys in October I was coming back.”
Chris Grenham: Woj says on @SportsCenter that the Celtics are "almost to the point of resignation" that Kyrie is going to leave. Also reaffirmed that the Celtics will try to trade at least one of their three first-round picks.
All-Star Kyrie Irving, who has decided to opt out of his $21.3 million deal for next season to become a free agent, and top Celtics officials will meet soon to discuss his future, league sources said. A potential meeting could occur before Thursday’s NBA draft sources said, as both sides could look for clarity ahead of the start of free agency on June 30.
Nets Daily: ICYMI, here's what @Adrian Wojnarowski told @Ryen Russillo podcast over the weekend re Kyrie Irving, "He is pretty focused on Brooklyn right now and Boston I think is losing a grip on him if not already heaving lost a grip on him. I think they've known that for a while."
Multiple Nets players and members of the staff tell NetsDaily they believe they’ll be playing with Irving this upcoming season … and not D’Angelo Russell. There’s belief within the organization that Kyrie is nearly a “done deal” and if that’s the case, Russell is unlikely to return.
Yes, the Celts still tried to negotiate a trade with New Orleans, but according to a Pelicans source, the offers were understandably never as good as intimated back when there was still a reasonable belief Irving could be kept. In that scenario, it was presumed the Celtics would have opened their asset locker wider to take a shot at an Irving-Davis ticket for 2019-20, hoping that success would entice the latter to remain for a longer term.
Because of salary cap rules, if the trade is consummated in late July, the Lakers would have the space to add another maximum contract. That cap space could be used on players like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, all-star point guards who will be free agents. That scenario would require the Lakers to draft the fourth overall pick for the Pelicans, or whatever team has its rights by the time of the draft, then sign that player as quickly as possible. League rules do not allow a signed draft pick to be traded for 30 days, which would make July 20 the earliest date the trade could be consummated.
The Lakers have a lot more work to do, of course. According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, Kemba Walker will be their top free-agent target. (Don’t bank on Kyrie Irving reuniting with LeBron. League sources fully expect him to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.)
Ric Bucher: “I’m told Kevin Durant is out of the hospital, moved into a hotel for the time being in the New York area and him and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together next season. KD has moved all his stuff and will spend his summer in New York… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere because obviously Kyrie will not be joining the Warriors any time soon.”
According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, the Durant-Irving pairing idea still has legs and New York seems to be where the landing spot will be. “I’m told Kevin Durant has moved all his stuff to New York and will spend the summer there,” Bucher said on The Herd. “He and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere.”
As of late this week, teams interested in pursuing Kyrie Irving remained under the impression that the Nets were the odds-on favorite to land the point guard, per sources. But no team interested in Irving, including the Knicks and Lakers, had been led to believe that they are out of the running to sign him, those sources say.
It is quite a balancing act, and there are no firm answers yet, but it is clear that so far things have not progressed as the team was once hoping. According to league sources, the Celtics’ belief that Irving will re-sign with them after free agency opens on June 30 has eroded.
There is still some hope within the organization that Irving will have a change of heart if Boston is able to acquire Davis. And Irving’s fickle personality certainly makes anything possible until he officially agrees to terms with some team.
But the likelihood of an Irving return appears to be decreasing. Nevertheless, the sources said, it is clear that the Celtics’ pursuit of Davis will push forward.
Should Irving leave, and the team’s bid for an Anthony Davis trade fall through, then short of moving ahead with what’s left, Danny Ainge’s creativity will be tested like never before. Though he wouldn’t share specifics, Grousbeck has admittedly heard some fairly exotic scenarios being discussed. “There’s definitely scenarios being spun inside the basketball office,” he said. “I’m there every day listening to them, that involve a number of players. I’ve heard a lot of scenarios. We’ll just see what happens.”
According to a source with ties to Roc Nation, the organization expected to become Irving’s new representative, the All-Star point guard is prepared to sign with the Brooklyn Nets when he becomes a free agent next month. A separate league source told the Herald that his team (not the Celtics) has received the same information and is operating under the belief that Irving wants to join the Nets.
To be fair to the situation, any story involving Irving needs to contain a disclaimer. While the two sources cited in the second paragraph are to be trusted, most anything involving Irving should be seen as a fluid matter. Nothing can be truly settled until a contract is signed, and that cannot take place until the NBA moratorium ends on July 6 at noon Eastern Time. And, as Celtic followers have come to know, Irving remains eminently capable of changing his mind.
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June 25, 2022 | 8:58 pm EDT Update
“Listen we still run that franchise [Magic]. If they wanna sell it to us, DeVos family, we’re ready to go right now,” O’Neal said on The Big Podcast. “This message go out to the DeVos family, if you’re ready to sell Orlando Magic, sell it to somebody who’s gonna take it to the next level, that’s us. D[ennis] Scott and then, D Scott can pick everybody else. Smart people combined with common sense people and people that’s been there before, you can’t go wrong.”