The Nets have no intentions of offering a long-term contract extension to star point guard Kyrie Irving this summer, given his injury history and unwillingness to get vaccinated, a source told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
Nets GM Sean Marks recently said the Nets had yet to speak with Irving about a contract extension — but intend to do so.
“I look forward to [it],” Marks told YES Network last week, via the New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “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.”
Irving appeared in just 29 games this past season after not being eligible to play in home games because of the New York vaccine mandate. The Nets made the decision to hold him out of road games too — though they eventually gave in when the vast majority of the team was forced to enter health and safety protocols. Eventually the mandate was lifted and Irving returned full-time.
Winfield wrote that “he Nets’ championship hopes hinge on an amicable solution with Irving, whose personal decision not to get vaccinated and unpredictable injury history have left the Nets hesitant, and now, according to a source familiar with the Nets’ thought process, outright unwilling to give him a long-term extension.”
Marks didn’t mention Irving by name, but said that it is all about being a team player.
“You want people here to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Marks said. “It’s a team sports team game. It’s not individuals. We want people to be here for the right reasons, and buy into their roles, find their roles, high-character guys.
“We want to avoid the drama, we want to avoid the distractions. These last couple years here, whether it was expectation set on the team or some of the outside circumstances that were going on in the world, they affected our guys — both individually and as a group — really poorly, unfortunately.”