Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Wednesday that the franchise has not made a decision on whether to extend goaltender Kyrie Irving’s contract if he gives up his player option for the 2022-23 season and was looking for a long-term extension. Marks pointed out that he made a mistake predicting last year that they would agree to a long-term deal with Irving and James Harden, which didn’t happen.
“It’s something we’ve discussed and will continue to debrief and discuss throughout this offseason…we haven’t had any of those discussions yet,” Marks said. “We’re looking for guys who want to come in here and be part of something bigger than themselves, play selflessly, play basketball as a team and be available. That goes for not just Kyrie but everyone here. .”
Marks, in a press conference, said “it’s obvious” that Irving’s absence for much of last season played a role in how Brooklyn fared. Irving has missed all Nets home games through March 27 due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.
Brooklyn finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and was swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Celtics.
Irving has averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 29 games this season.
Marks also mentioned that Nets guard/forward Ben Simmons had a follow-up MRI after back pain returned before Game 4 and it revealed the hernia had widened, requiring surgery. the only option.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get him through to our squad. That’s key,” Marks said. “He needs to be here, feeling the gym again, around his friends, around his family and participating in that and let us help him build the culture together, build together, rebuild it because, like Steve (Nash) alluded to, he’s a big, big part of that.”
(Photo: Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY)