Four years, $200 million.
That’s the new price of doing business in Brooklyn.
Nets star Kyrie Irving requested a trade on Friday after he and the organization failed to agree to a contract extension ahead of the upcoming Feb. 9 NBA Trade Deadline.
Irving posted on Twitter hours after news of his trade request broke.
”To my Peers: Just be yourself and grow!” he tweeted. “Keep people around who celebrate you unconditionally and appreciates all of the hard work that gets put in.”Distance yourself from the folks who manipulate, hate, and hurt.”
Irving, who the Nets opted against offering a fully-guaranteed max contract last offseason, can leave Brooklyn as an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. The Daily News reported the Nets signed Irving to a “prove it” contract when they forced him to opt into his player option or test free agency over the summer.
That trend has continued: The Athletic reports the Nets have offered Irving a contract with stipulations on the guarantee amount of the final year of that contract. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reports the Nets presented a contract with guarantees tied to delivering a championship to Brooklyn.
There’s little reason to believe the star guard is unhappy with his situation other than his current contract — and possibly his heightened workload, which even more of a risk without the security of a long-term guaranteed contract.
Irving has no assurances beyond making $36.9 million in salary this season.
With both Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) and Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) out due to injury, the star guard has played at least 38 minutes in 12 of his last 13 games. He played 31 of 36 possible minutes in the first three quarters of the blowout loss to the Celtics before head coach Jacque Vaughn emptied the bench.
Irving’s trade request comes in the middle of one of the best basketball stretches of his career. He is averaging 30.3 points through the 10 games he’s played with Durant out due to injury, including a 48-point game against the Utah Jazz and a 40-point outburst in the loss to the Detroit Pistons.
The Nets have gone 4-6 in games Irving has played with Durant out due to injury. One of those was a four-point loss to a fully healthy Philadelphia 76ers team. Another was a five-point road loss to the Phoenix Suns, who were without both Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
Irving’s trade request comes one year after James Harden requested a trade from Brooklyn, during a similar period where Durant was out due to injury.
Irving was ineligible to play at Barclays Center due to the city’s pre-existing vaccine mandate, leaving Harden to shoulder the load in home games. Similarly, Durant is out and Simmons will miss his fourth straight game with left knee soreness when the Nets play the Wizards on Saturday.
Irving has a 15% trade kicker, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, which can be paid for by either the Nets or his new team. If he alters his trade kicker, collective bargaining agreement bylaws prevent him from signing an extension with his new team. If the Nets pay Irving’s trade kicker, his maximum contract extension is two years worth $78.6 million.
Irving is averaging 27 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. He was named an All-Star starter for the sixth time in his career and is the only All-Star starter who is not under contract next season.
Source: The Mercury News