At least for now, the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets has been resolved. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that the star guard will opt-in to his $37 million player option and return to the franchise for another season. There was rampant speculation for the past week that Irving would seek his way out of Brooklyn, a move that would’ve potentially prompted Kevin Durant to force his way out of the franchise.
As of this writing, the Nets are still listed with the fourth-highest odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship on DraftKings Sportsbook at +700. The Nets opened as +600 favorites along with the Los Angeles Clippers and their status hasn’t changed all too much among oddsmakers even with the ongoing Irving drama. The team is also a +310 favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season, sitting just behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
Brooklyn will head into next season with the ‘Big 3’ of Durant, Irving, and Ben Simmons, who has yet to suit up for the franchise after being traded for James Harden. There’s major questions over both the health of Durant and reliability of Irving and Simmons but should they play enough games together to form a cohesive unit, one could see why they’d be a candidate to play into June next summer.