Should Nets’ Kyrie Irving Follow Kawhi Leonard’s Example While Handling New Contract Extension?

Published 09/15/2021, 11:23 PM EDT
Feb 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots a backwards shot as Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) defends in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Kyrie Irving is as cryptic as one can get. He would pull out a sage and walk on the court perimeter to probably mark a curse. He’d then hint at early retirement or even miss out on games without prior warning. But all those shenanigans aside, the Brooklyn Nets guard is a born talent and a wizard that every NBA team wants.

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Now, there’s a situation. The Nets have already signed Kevin Durant for a $198 million four-year extension that’ll keep him in Brooklyn until 2026. Plus, they might as well do the same with James Harden to ensure a championship contention. So where does all this leaves Ky? An American sportswriter has a Kawhi reference to answer that.

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Will Kyrie Irving walk The Claw’s way?

In a recent interview, Brian Windhorst revealed what he believes would be the situation surrounding Kyrie’s possible extension. The 43-YO called Ky’s contract interesting and detailed, “He has a whole bunch of incentives built into it. And so, he actually can’t get a full max, he can get pretty close. But he’s got a decision to make.” 

Last season, Kawhi Leonard declined his $36 million player option to make himself eligible for the 35% max cap secured for the 10-year vets. This helped him sign a much better $176.3 million 4-year deal with the Clippers. So Brian wants Ky to pull something similar.

Feb 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) is defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As he added, “If you’re looking at just raw, on paper, he could wait out this year and then sign a whole new brand new contract the next summer and guarantee himself a lot more money, similar to what Kawhi Leonard just did with the Clippers. That would make sense in straight ledger terms.” 

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Should the Brooklyn Nets feel an urgency?

Well, the Nets surely have Kevin Durant and James Harden with them for a long term. Now, they’d definitely not want to lose Kyrie for nothing, because they signed him to make a title shot. So, in a way, they’d want to sign the 7x All-Star for a max extension as soon as possible.

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Interestingly, Kyrie is someone who can call it quits in his early 30s and that makes him a poor trading asset. So the Nets’ best bet would be to use Kyrie’s peak performance and get him locked.

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As Brian claimed, “I don’t know if Kyrie is thinking about locking himself in at age 34, 35, or 36. He’s been very clear that basketball isn’t always his top priority. So I don’t know how that’s playing into this. But if you’re the Nets, you want to lock him down, because A, it’s less than the full max coz of the contract structure. And B, you don’t want to worry about him heading towards possible free agency.” 

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So what do you think, should Kyrie wait another year? Help us know in the comments section below.

Watch this story – The Unexpected Things Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving Can’t Live Without

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Sourabh Singh

1705 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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