There reportedly is “real optimism” within the Brooklyn Nets organization that star guard Kyrie Irving could become a full-time player this season.
Due to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, Irving is currently ineligible to play in Brooklyn’s home games. He has yet to vaccinated against COVID-19.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team believes things could change to where Irving is able to appear in all of the team’s games this season.
“I think … as the months evolve between now and the All-Star break into the stretch run of the season and then into the playoffs that enough in the world could change where Kyrie Irving could become a full-time player again,” Wojnarowski said Wednesday night on SportsCenter. “I think that’s real optimism within that organization.”
After sitting out the beginning of the 2021-22 season, Irving has returned to the Nets to play in certain road games, and he’s appeared in three contests so far this season.
The seven-time All-Star is averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 32.0 minutes per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Nets are certainly a more dangerous team when Kevin Durant, James Harden and Irving all share the floor, and it would be a major boost to the team if Irving could play in every game at some point this season.
The Nets are expected to finish the season with one of the best records in the Eastern Conference, but if Irving still is unable to appear in home games, it could make things tricky for the team in the postseason.
The Nets are currently 26-14 on the season and hold the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.