Stephen A. Smith: Kyrie Irving Likely Won't Re-Sign With Nets; Eyes Los Angeles

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 13, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 8: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball during an open practice on October 8, 2022 at HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith said on NBA Countdown Wednesday that Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving won't re-sign with the team this offseason and instead will look to go to Los Angeles (40-second mark).

"This is it. Barring a trade before the trading deadline, this is [Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's] last season together. They're not re-signing with Brooklyn. Kyrie's not re-signing with Brooklyn. ... He is trying to go to Los Angeles. That's what he was trying to do over the summer. That's what he's trying to do now. He knows that he's got to get through this season. Whether they win or lose, Kyrie is pretty much gone."

Smith then said things could change if Nets governor Joe Tsai offers Irving a massive contract to stick around, and he threw out a hypothetical deal of four years and $250 million. But Smith then said that "we all sincerely doubt" that would happen.

Irving exercised his 2022-23 player option to remain with the Nets this season for $36.5 million. He was heavily connected in trade rumors to the Los Angeles Lakers all summer, but nothing ever came to fruition. Irving will be free to pursue a move to L.A. if he chooses to do so next summer as an unrestricted free agent.

The seven-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA player is entering his 12th NBA season and fourth with the Nets. He averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists per game last year.

Brooklyn opens this season with an Oct. 19 matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.