Why it’s in the Nets’ best interest to keep Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn

Kyrie Irving (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyrie Irving (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Brooklyn Nets can’t afford to lose Kyrie Irving this offseason. 

There are some players in the NBA that will always be talked about more than others. One person who always seems to be at the top of that list is none other than Kyrie Irving. The New York media and Irving were practically made for each other.

Media outlets let Kyrie do the work for them, as they try and make personal gain off his misfortunes.

A spotlight will always be shinned on Kyrie, whether he wants it or not.

A tough stat for Irving right here. Having 20 more games missed than played doesn’t look too great. It certainly speaks to issues that a lot of reporters and analysts bring up, the consistency of Irving being on the court.

In the 2021-22 season, Irving played in 29 of the 82 regular season games for the Brooklyn Nets, missing the first 35 consecutively. For about three months he only played in road games, and his absence was felt on and off the court.

As much as Nets fans and the front office don’t want to say it, Kyrie was a huge distraction for the team last season. He took the spotlight away from players who were actually participating and made an effort to be a part of the team. It was Irving’s choice to be off the court and he is entitled to feel that way, but his absence was surely felt.

Kyrie is entering the final year of a four-year,  $136.5 million deal, where his base salary will be $36,503,300 in 2022-23. Nets general manager (GM) Sean Marks and head coach Steven Nash will certainly be trying to do everything they can to keep their superstar in Brooklyn.

There is no question that when Kyrie Irving plays, the team is significantly better. Irving is a player that when at his best, requires multiple defenders effort and attention to try and stop him. That is exactly what the Nets want because that opens up the floor for other players. Kevin Durant can play off Irving, and Kyrie can set up other shooters for wide open shots and to constantly keep the ball moving, looking for the best opportunity for points.

Since the 2014-15 season, Kyrie’s two-point percentage has not been less than 50 percent. His three-pointers haven’t been less than 39 percent since 2015-16, and his free-throw percentage has only been less than 89 percent just one time in his 11 NBA seasons.

The Nets need to do a lot more things in the offseason to be a contender for the championship next season. I think that starts with getting Kyrie Irving to sign another contract that keeps him with Brooklyn for a few more years.

Brooklyn’s duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant is up there for best in the league in my opinion. Both players may not shine the brightest on defense, but both have championship DNA, and know what it takes to reach the highest level of success in the NBA. That is why they were brought to Brooklyn.

A lot of money could be saved by not signing Irving to another long-term contract. It could potentially open up others avenues for the Nets to try and pay a few solid players, rather than spend a big part of their checkbook on Kyrie.

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My gut tells me that Nets GM Sean Marks will find a way to make both parties happy. Kyrie Irving is not the type of player you let walk away without some serious negotiations. Only time will tell if Brooklyn will keep Irving. We’ll just have to sit back and enjoy the show.