Stephen A. Smith thinks Kyrie Irving will be in contention for the NBA MVP this season. This offseason, Irving tried to reach an extension with the Brooklyn Nets. After it became evident that the sides couldn't reach an agreement on an extension, Irving simply decided to pick up his player option for the next season that pays him $37 million.
With just one year left on his current deal, Smith expects Irving to explode this season and get his money next summer. “I got Kyrie Irving as one of my top league MVP candidates,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take.
“I think Kyrie Irving gonna put on a show this year. Everybody better brace themselves because the brother playing for a new contract, he’s playing for a new contract. It matters, $200 million."
Irving gets a chance to play with Kevin Durant again
This offseason, the Nets could have lost both of their star players.
The Nets reportedly received trade offers for Irving, but refused to trade the star guard after not receiving in return what they were seeking. But since Irving never requested a trade and picked up his player option for the next season, the Nets decided to simply continue with Irving going forward.
Then, Durant requested a trade on June 30. The Nets made it clear that it would take a lot of assets for a team to give up in order to acquire Durant. Nearly two months later - after it became evident to Durant that he wasn't going to be traded - he sat down with the Nets owner and front office to discuss his future.
During the meeting, Durant rescinded his trade request and decided to continue playing for the Nets. Now, Durant and Irving are set to play alongside each other for the fourth consecutive season. It remains to be seen if they can bring the Nets their first title.