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Lakers Fans Heartbroken As Kyrie Irving Decides To Opt-In On $53 Million Deal With Brooklyn Nets

Jayden Collins

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Lakers Fans Heartbroken As Kyrie Irving Decides To Opt-In On $53 Million Deal With Brooklyn Nets

The Kyrie Irving saga is finally over. 

The Nets star has revealed he will opt-in on his $52.5 million (US$36.5m) option to stay with the Brooklyn side for another season. 

The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news as Nets fans breathed a massive sigh of relief.

In a statement, Irving said: “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."

The news signals a huge U-turn in the saga, as just hours earlier The Athletic had reported that Irving had been granted permission from the Nets to seek other sign-and-trade offers.

It had been reported that Irving had put together a list of teams he wanted the Nets to consider trading him to if he couldn’t come to an agreement with his current employers. 

The wish list included the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and the LA Lakers.

According to ESPN, outside of the Lakers, there were no known teams planning on pursuing a sign-and-trade deal for the Nets guard – news which had Lakers fans salivating at the thought of a legendary Kyrie-LeBron link-up.

While Irving has decided to stay for another year, the Nets could still look to trade him as an expiring contract, with the player having no formal say in where he goes.

When he signed in 2019, Brooklyn had refused to hand him a full five-year $245 million (US$353m) max contract. 

Probably a good thing too, as Irving has missed 123 of 226 regular-season games since his arrival. 

He wasn’t allowed to play in his home city of New York due to the city vaccination mandate for employees, with Irving refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

When he did play he averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds last season. 

Credit: Sipa US / Alamy
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

The ‘will he stay or will he go’ drama has been a circus these past few weeks.

When asked by Complex Sports whether he wanted to remain a Brooklyn Nets player he dodged the question and instead signalled to his agent and step mum Shetellia Riley as if she was the one who made the decisions. 

However, his decision to exercise his option following Brooklyn Nets allowing him to seek other opportunities, signals that he was playing bluff and didn’t actually want to miss out on a huge payday.

The move is also good news for the Nets who could’ve faced an implosion with star player Kevin Durant also reportedly considering his options should Irving decide to leave. 

But alas, it’s good news for the Nets.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/ESPN/Alamy

Topics: Basketball, NBA, Australia

Jayden Collins
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