KEY POINTS

  • The Nets could offer Kyrie Irving a huge contract extension this summer
  • Nets head coach Steve Nash is confident Irving will stay
  • The seven-time NBA All-Star is excited to make his return at the Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Nets are hoping to keep Kyrie Irving for a longer period of time.

With the regular season nearing its end, fans and the media want to know what the future holds for Irving in Brooklyn.

As it stands, Irving has a $36.5 million player option for next season. Should he consider opting out, he could sign for a reported $246 million, five-year contract this summer. Whether the Nets will make the said offer is yet to be known but head coach Steve Nash is “confident” the All-Star guard will stay. 

"I think we all feel confident that we'll have Kyrie back, but that's a front office discussion," Nash said via Nets Daily’s Chris Milholen.

Irving also made it clear that he didn’t come to Brooklyn for the short term. The 30-year-old is well aware that he will have a discussion with the team in the offseason.

However, Irving reiterated that nothing will change in his stance as he is looking forward to a “long run” with the Nets.

"To be honest, I signed up for this for the long run," Irving told ESPN ahead of Brooklyn’s 110-95 win over the Miami Heat Saturday. "I love this year. I'm grateful.”

“I'm looking for the long run and what we can do, legacy talk,” he added. “For me, it has always been about being comfortable and loving where I'm at. I love it here. Once that summertime hits, I know we'll have some conversations, but there's no way I could leave my man 7 [Kevin Durant] anywhere."

Irving spent most of the 2021-22 NBA season as a part-timer as a mandate on unvaccinated athletes kept him from joining the team during home games. New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that it has been lifted, which means Irving is finally allowed to play again at the Barclays Center.

This also means that the seven-time All-Star can now play for the Nets in the team’s final six home games in the regular season. Ahead of his Barclays Center debut, Irving admitted that everything felt surreal.

"Please take my comment seriously when I say I've been pinching myself since Wednesday and Thursday because there was a time where I got my hopes really, really high and all the air just got let out," he admitted.

"I didn't want to get too excited,” he continued. “Still tonight, I'm trying to stay focused on this game [against the Heat]. But I know tomorrow will eventually come and I'm looking forward to playing back in Brooklyn."

Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates after scoring against the Orlando Magic in the first half at Amway Center on March 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images