While we can't rule anything out when it comes to the unpredictable Kyrie Irving, it now appears that he will stay with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2022-23 season as he chose in a surprise to opt into his $37 million player option. That should mean you can put those Kevin Durant trade rumors to rest as well.
Irving said this to Shams Charania: "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." Irving had until Wednesday to decide on opting in or becoming a free agent.
The Nets have been wary of offering Irving a long-term extension given his injury history. He has played just 103 regular season games the past three seasons, missing a big chunk of this past season because he chose not to get vaccinated for COVID. Irving's camp had requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages. No sign-and-trades can be formally discussed until after 6 p.m. ET on Thursday. Irving has until Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET to file the paperwork on his opt-in. The Nets could still trade Irving as an expiring contract.
Brooklyn is a +750 third favorite to win the 2023 NBA title behind Golden State (+550) and Boston (+600). The Celtics had been rumored as a potential trade partner if Durant had requested out.
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