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Report: Kyrie Irving Returning to Brooklyn Nets, Team Up with Kevin Durant

Irving opts into $37-million player-option

2022 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Kyrie Irving drama with the Brooklyn Nets is over — at least for now.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving is opting into his $37-million player-option with Brooklyn for the 2022-23 season.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is opting into his $37 million player option for the 2022-23 season, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned. Irving is bypassing on multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant.

Kyrie Irving: “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.”

Irving’s decision comes after a turbulent four days in Brooklyn. On Thursday, the star guard created a list of possible destinations he wanted go to in a sign-and-trade. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team known to be interested, leading Irving back to Brooklyn.

Irving’s uncertain future in Brooklyn had also put superstar Kevin Durant’s future with the franchise at risk. This development kicked off a media frenzy speculating about where Durant could end up.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard added to the controversy by sharing an Instagram story of Durant photoshopped to be wearing a Portland jersey, briefly rallying a Durant-to-PDX hypothetical.

No reports have come out yet about how Irving’s recommitment to the Nets has impacted Durant’s status in Brooklyn. The 2022-23 season marks the first year of Durant’s four-year, $198-million contract extension.

In 29 games during the 2021-22 season, Irving averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists. By deciding not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Irving was ineligible to play in home games until late March because of a city vaccination mandate for employees.

The Nets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in four games by the Boston Celtics.