Nets GM Sean Marks spoke to the media on Wednesday for the first time since Brooklyn was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
When asked if the Nets have considered signing Kyrie Irving to a long-term contract, Marks was non-committal.
“I think that’s something we’ve been discussing, and will continue to debrief on and discuss throughout this offseason,” he said. “It’s honestly not just Kyrie…we have decisions to make on a variety of free agents throughout our roster.”
Marks continued, “We haven’t had any of those discussions yet, so it would be unfair for me to comment on how it looks with us and Kyrie, because, to be quite frank, he has some decisions to make on his own.”
Kyrie holds a $36.5 million player option for next season, though he’s also eligible for an extension worth nearly $200 million if he elects to opt out.
Irving missed every Brooklyn home game until March 27 due to his COVID-19 vaccination status. In the 29 games Irving played during the regular season, the Nets notched a 14-15 record, with the 30-year-old point guard averaging 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game.
Elsewhere in his press conference, Marks maintained that the Nets are “looking for guys that want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, play team basketball, and be available.”
“We need people here that want to be here, they’re selfless that want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and there’s an objective and there’s a goal at stake here,” he added, per the New York Post. “And in order to do that, we’re gonna need availability from everybody.”
However, he went on to admit he’s wary of making any promises about a long-term extension, particularly after he made empty promises last year regarding both Irving and James Harden’s future with the Nets, when he said that their contracts were “sign, sealed, delivered.”
Marks also acknowledged that Brooklyn may have to come to terms with its deeper organizational issues.
“Did we take a step back? Without a doubt,” he told reporters. “The culture isn’t what it once was.”
As for the other question mark on the Nets’ roster, Ben Simmons, who recently underwent back surgery, Marks said that he’s “feeling the relief already, feeling great and he knows that, again goes back to the five months, he’s got a big build-up ahead of him to get ready and really contribute.”