Kyrie Irving, James Harden Had 'Very Positive' Talks with Nets About New Contracts

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2021

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Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday the front office remains in contact with James Harden and Kyrie Irving about potential contract extensions ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.

"We've had very positive conversations with both of those guys," Marks told reporters. "... It always helps to do those things in person."

Harden and Irving are both scheduled to enter the final guaranteed year of their deals and each holds a player option for the 2022-23 campaign.

The Nets signed Kevin Durant to a four-year, $194.2 million extension in August that links him to the franchise through 2025-26.

Marks said at that time he was "very confident" both Harden and Irving would be "signed, sealed, delivered" before the start of training camp next Tuesday. He also provided an update on their respective injury recoveries:

"I've seen both of the guys over the last week. I've seen James working out. I've seen some videos of him, and he's really trending in the right direction and looks great. He has really devoted himself this summer to rehabbing, one, the hamstring, and just getting himself in tip-top basketball shape. So that's really exciting for us, to see James. And I was with Kyrie yesterday, and Kyrie [was in] very positive spirits. You know, it was a bad ankle sprain, there's no question there, so that set him back and he's recovering but he's progressing well and he's back in the gym I have no doubt, by the time training camp rolls around and even prior to that, that guys will have been together and been live on the court together and playing together and working out."

Harden's arrival in a January trade from the Houston Rockets gave Brooklyn the NBA's most star-studded Big Three, but a series of injuries involving the entire trio prevented the Nets from reaching their peak during the stretch run of the regular season.

They were eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games.

The Nets are once again among the league's top title contenders heading into the new season, and getting Harden and Irving signed to similar long-term deals to Durant's would ensure the organization's championship window stays open for the foreseeable future.

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Brooklyn opens its four-game preseason slate Oct. 3 when it visits the Los Angeles Lakers before tipping off the regular season Oct. 19 with a road game against the Bucks.

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