New York, June 28: Kyrie Irving has exercised his $37 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets for next season, confirming his decision on Monday (June 27).
The move ends any chance of a sign-and-trade deal and takes Irving off the market when the free agency negotiating period begins on Thursday (June 30).
Locking in the enigmatic Irving ends speculation of him fleeing—for now, at least.
Earlier this off-season, Irving had given the Nets a list of approved destinations if a sign-and-trade deal were to happen. The only team on the list that explored acquiring Irving was the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reported earlier Monday.
“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving told The Athletic. “I've made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”
Irving has played just 103 of a possible 226 games since signing with Brooklyn in the 2019 off-season.
Irving chose not to receive any COVID-19 vaccinations, leaving him unable to play for much of last season due to municipal regulations in New York. He played 29 games in 2021-22, averaging 27.4 points and 5.8 assists.