Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks doesn’t sound committed to Kyrie Irving long-term, as the star point guard’s contract is up this offseason.
Irving sounds like he wants to be back in Brooklyn. Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons are both saying all the right things.
Unfortunately, the decision to bring back Kyrie is not up to them.
The NBA is a star-driven league, but for said stars to earn that right, they have to actually show up. Brooklyn played by the Kyrie rules AND the NYC vaccine mandate rules this season, and quite frankly, they grew tired of it. Come the end of the season, Irving could finally play home games, and it still ended in an early playoff exit.
At his press conference on Wednesday, Marks preached changing the Nets’ culture. Whether that includes Irving remains to be seen.
Nets: Kyrie Irving’s availability an issue with Sean Marks
If Irving is only going to be available for half of the season, or even less depending on COVID protocols, then Marks and the Nets are right to avoid a $30 million-plus commitment. If Irving were to take a contract with incentives based on games played, then that could change the outlook.
The question remains, however, whether a player the stature of Kyrie would take such a non-guaranteed contract structure when he could probably sign elsewhere and get everything he wants, minus a championship-level team. That he can only find in Brooklyn, and perhaps other destinations with a similar mindset as them in the front office.
By no means is Marks speaking out of turn. He dealt with the James Harden trade midseason — a bomb dropped on Brooklyn’s doorstep — and sent him to a division rival. Losing Irving would sting, sure, but the team as constructed fell well short of expectations.