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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Kyrie Irving Needs to ‘Play Team Basketball and Be Available’ to Stay on the Brooklyn Nets, According to GM Sean Marks

General manager of the Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks, says Kyrie Irving needs to prioritize team play and willingness to spend time on the court if he wants to remain on his roster. He also expressed that there is a “glimmer” of hope for him returning as it’s up in the air where he’ll be playing next season.

The “where is kyrie irving from” is a discussion that has been going on for quite some time. Kyrie Irving needs to “play team basketball and be available” to stay on the Brooklyn Nets, according to GM Sean Marks.

Getty Images/Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets’ season may be finished, but the controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving continues. Now that the team’s summer has arrived considerably sooner than the management had anticipated, Irving and the franchise must make choices.

Irving’s future in New York’s hippest borough is anything but guaranteed after hearing Nets general manager Sean Marks’ opinions on the contentious star.

For the Brooklyn Nets, the Kyrie Irving era hasn’t gone well.

The Brooklyn Nets are sitting at home in the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with Kyrie Irving.

The Boston Celtics’ Jordan Rules-level defense on Kevin Durant, James Harden’s quick decline, Ben Simmons’ inability (or reluctance) to get on the floor, Steve Nash’s failure to make the necessary changes, and James Harden’s rapid decline all played a part.

All of that said, it’s tough not to regard Irving’s protracted vaccine-protesting hiatus as a big part in the Nets’ premature demise in 2021-22.

The Kyrie drama has been covered extensively, but the stats speak for themselves. Because to the COVID-19 vaccination obligation in New York City (and other localities), Irving only played 29 games out of 82 this season.

Worse, Irving’s decision to remain at home was a major element in the Durant/Irving/Harden experiment’s failure. This Big 3 only played 16 games together in the 13 months that they were in Brooklyn.

Now that Harden is gone, Simmons is back (kind of), and the Nets’ future is unknown, despite possessing three of the highest-paid players in the NBA in 2022-23.

Sean Marks, the team’s general manager, did not seem certain that Irving will return for the 2022-23 season.

“We’re looking for people that want to be a part of something greater than themselves, who want to play team basketball, and who can commit. That applies to everyone here, not just Kyrie.”

Sean Marks on the Nets’ long-term commitment to Kyrie Irving.

(via @SNYNets)pic.twitter.com/aOMnP6x6sX

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 11, 2022

In the 22-23 season, Kevin Durant will begin a four-year, $194.22 million contract deal. And he’s still perhaps the NBA’s top player. Durant will stay a Net for the foreseeable future unless he unexpectedly chooses to leave Brooklyn.

Ben Simmons, on the other hand, has a lengthy deal with two years and $78.2 million remaining. However, getting him back on an NBA floor, much alone for the Brooklyn Nets, is a total uncertainty at this time.

Kyrie Irving is the last option.

Most NBA watchers believe the 30-year-old will return to the Barclay’s Center next season without a doubt. Sean Marks, the Nets’ general manager, was less confident.

In response to a reporter’s question about if “the organization is dedicated to Kyrie,” Marks remarked of the Irving issue during a playoff wrap-up news conference:  

Look, I believe that is something we will address. Throughout the offseason, we will continue to debrief and debate. … I wouldn’t be able to remark on how things are going between us and Kyrie because, to be honest, he has some choices to make on his own. As a result, he must consider what he will do with his player option and other matters. But I believe we have a good idea of what we’re searching for. We’re seeking for people that want to be a part of something greater than themselves, who want to play team basketball, and who can commit. That applies to everyone here, not just Kyrie.

Kyrie Irving, according to Sean Marks

Marks’ words didn’t seem to bode well for Irving’s long-term prospects in Brooklyn.

What will the Nets’ top point guard do next?

Should he decline his $36.9M player option, Kyrie Irving would be eligible to return to the #Nets on a maximum 5 year, $247.6M contract, including salaries of:

22-23: $42.7M 23-24: $46.1M 24-25: $49.5M 25-26: $52.9M 26-27: $56.3M

— Spotrac (@spotrac) April 26, 2022

When Sean Marks says Kyrie Irving will have to make his own choices regarding the next season, he isn’t only referring to the guard’s commitment to playing more often.

Irving has a player option for 2022-23 for $36.9 million.

This option year felt like a given when the former Duke guard inked his contract in 2019. Irving was expected to refuse in order to sign a new five-year, $247.6 million contract, which he is eligible for.

The Nets may not want to sign Irving to a quarter-billion-dollar new contract following his lengthy mental health vacations in 20-21 and his vaccination requirement protest in 21-22.

Even if Irving opts in, the Nets’ problems will not be solved. Brooklyn’s salary cap woes are huge, even with Irving at $36.9 million instead of $42.7 million next year. For Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons alone, the organization would invest $116.4 million. With Joe Harris and Seth Curry, the team is looking at a total cost of $143.5 million for a starting five that is at best iffy.

In an ideal world, swapping Irving for multiple new components would be the greatest option. However, there are several drawbacks with this as well. It’s difficult to trade a contract like Irving’s, whether he signs a new one or not. Furthermore, Irving and Durant have long been considered a team in Brooklyn.

Would Kyrie’s pal be okay if the club released him?

If Durant wants to win another championship outside of Stephen Curry’s shadow, he may have to make some difficult choices concerning his close buddy and trust Sean Marks to do his job, which he seems to be willing to do.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and like Sportscasting on Facebook.

RELATED: Stephen A. Smith Exposes Kyrie Irving’s Hypocrisy in Calling Himself a Martyr

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