The Brooklyn Nets were widely regarded by many as the favorites to win an NBA championship in 2021-22. And understandably so – the trifecta of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden looked incredible on paper.
Unfortunately, when it was all said and done, Brooklyn finished the year as the only team to be swept out of the first round and with one less superstar than they entered the season with.
Irving played a massive part in the Nets’ turbulent 2021-22 campaign. His decision to sit out over New York’s vaccine mandate played a role in Harden’s departure and the wear and tear that Durant sustained throughout the season. All of that ultimately contributed to the team’s early exit from the playoffs.
It appears as though that fact is not lost on the Nets’ front office. Based on comments recently made by general manager Sean Marks, it seems clear that the organization is in no great hurry to commit to Irving long-term.
“I look forward to [it],” Marks said recently of discussing Irving’s future status with the Nets (via the New York Post). “We have not had a conversation yet. So I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, and what he needs from us and so forth.
“So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
The trepidation there speaks volumes. Generally speaking, when a player of Irving’s talent level is available, GMs are falling over themselves to commit long-term. The fact that this isn’t happening in this case is a testament to how many headaches accompany Irving.
It’s easy to see why an organization would be reluctant to commit to someone long-term when that’s the case.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 22, 2022
Will the Nets and Irving ultimately come to an agreement of some sort? Probably. Alternative options for both sides are limited at the moment.
But is there going to be a certain level of frustration involved? Absolutely.