Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are back with the Brooklyn Nets after a wild offseason for the franchise.
"It was kind of like a clusterf--k," Irving said of the team's offseason at media day Monday.
Irving was the subject of trade rumors early in the summer, with the Los Angeles Lakers often linked, before he picked up his $36.5 million player option for 2022-23. The guard discussed his potential movement:
Durant had also requested a trade in the offseason before eventually agreeing to remain with the team.
Irving missed a majority of last season due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. New York City regulations prevented him from competing in the home arena, while the Nets initially didn't let him play in road games before changing their stance midseason.
He appeared in only 29 regular-season games, averaging 27.4 points and 5.8 assists.
As Irving explained Monday, the Nets were prepared to offer him a max extension if he had gotten vaccinated, but he refused.
"I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated," Irving told reporters.
He added the "stigma" surrounding his vaccination status limited his interest from other teams this offseason.
The Nets were less willing to guarantee Irving a long-term deal this offseason, with Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting the team was at an "impasse" at one point. Brian Windhorst of ESPN later reported it was not only about his vaccination status, but also about how the guard treated his teammates and coaches.
The 30-year-old also didn't exactly leave the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers on the best terms, clearly making him a risk for any organization despite his obvious talent.
It will put pressure on Irving to prove himself in 2022-23 ahead of free agency next offseason.