It appears Kyrie Irving will remain with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2022-23 campaign after all.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the point guard opted into his $36.5 million player option for next season. Charania noted he is "bypassing on multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant."
Irving passed along this statement to Charania following his decision: "Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I've made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even."
This comes as something of a surprise, as Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported the Nets gave the seven-time All-Star permission to seek potential sign-and-trade destinations.
Winfield also noted "the belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone."
Yet ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team interested in pursuing a sign-and-trade for the point guard.
There was naturally plenty of Twitter reaction to Irving's decision:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Yes, Kyrie Irving has not consistently been on the court during his time in Brooklyn, but when he has been, Irving has been quite good.<br><br>Irving has averaged 27.1 points with the Nets, 2nd-most in franchise history, behind only Kevin Durant (28.7). <a href="https://t.co/utWssYCtV7">https://t.co/utWssYCtV7</a>
For now, it appears as if Irving will be a member of the Nets for the upcoming campaign.
That takes some drama out of the offseason considering he was a major talking point, but a healthy Irving and Kevin Durant along with the return of Ben Simmons could mean Brooklyn is a title contender even in a daunting Eastern Conference.