Kyrie Irving's tenure with the Brooklyn Nets isn't over after all. According to a report from NBA insider Shams Charania, the veteran superstar is opting in to his $36 million player option for the 2022-23 season, and also bypassing on sign-and-trade scenarios to fulfill his commitment to the Nets and teammate Kevin Durant. Irving told The Athletic, in part, "Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow."
Irving's decision was an apparent change of heart. Multiple outlets confirmed on Monday that the Nets had given the 30-year-old guard permission to seek sign-and-trade candidates, amid stalled contract talks. And shortly thereafter, ESPN insider Brain Windhorst reported that the organization was prepared to see both Irving and Durant leave the team this offseason. Irving still has until Wednesday to file the paperwork, officially opt-in, and squash fans' doubts.
"Kyrie Irving wants to tell you he's different and all that. Fine. If you were really different, then you would've opted-out and taken less money," Zach Gelb said during The Zach Gelb Show on Monday. "My question becomes, what type of Kyrie Irving are you going to get next year? Is this going to be a James Harden or Jalen Ramsey type of situation, where they're there, but that player doesn't want to be there and he's a royal pain in the ass?...
"And most likely, if I'm a betting man, this upcoming season for the Nets -- in terms of the Kyrie drama and chaos -- it's still going to be a disaster. And why should I trust Kyrie? You can't trust him... All it's been, through their last three years, is drama after drama. Now, why should I trust Irving? And why should I believe, just because he's opting-in, it's going to be a smooth-sailing ship for the Nets? He doesn't get your trust. You can't trust him... I won't trust Kyrie."
Gelb's complete thoughts on Irving's future with the Nets can be accessed in the audio player above.