Kyrie Irving Rumors: Nets PG Expected to Pursue New Team via Trade After Opt-In

Doric SamJune 24, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn Nets warms up before NBA playoffs between Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn of New York City, United States on April 25, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

It appears that Kyrie Irving's time with the Brooklyn Nets is set to come to an end.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the point guard will look to exercise his $36.5 million player option and then push for a trade.

"There's an expectation that Kyrie Irving will now proceed shortly into finding a new home via an opt-in and trade potential situation, and there are several teams that he will likely consider," Charania said.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier on Thursday that Irving already has a list of teams that he'd be interested in if the Nets pursue sign-and-trade scenarios. Wojnarowski named the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers. However, he added that Irving "isn't necessarily a priority" for any of those teams.

Irving has until June 29 to make a decision on his player option. He has reportedly sought a long-term extension from Brooklyn, but the team is hesitant to make a substantial commitment to him after falling short of expectations in his three-year tenure.

The seven-time All-Star has appeared in only 103 regular-season games for the Nets. While his play on the court has been strong, his time has been limited because of untimely injuries, personal absences and his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

This past season, Irving had been ruled ineligible for home games to start the year because of New York City's vaccination mandates. After they were amended, Irving wound up playing in just 29 games and was fined $13.7 million in salary. The Nets suffered a disappointing end to their season when they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

If Irving does indeed find a new home this offseason, it will be his third NBA team in the last five years.