The Brooklyn Nets apparently took a page from the NFL to make room for Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan this offseason.
Irving and Durant "officially" will earn $31.7 million each next season -- $1 million fewer than the maximum -- on deals that allowed the Nets to sign their close pal Jordan.
But according to ESPN's Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks, both players' contracts come with exactly $1 million worth of incentives that could bring them to that $32.7 million number while keeping their cap hits at $31.7 million.
It won't be easy for Irving, though. The former Boston Celtics guard has eight separate incentives worth $125,000 each, per Lowe and Marks.
The first? He appears in at least 70 games next season. That means less "load management" for Irving, who played in just 67 games last season and 60 the season before with Boston.
Here are six other incentives for Irving that ESPN.com listed:
- Appears in 60 regular-season games and averages fewer than 2.4 turnovers per game.
- Appears in at least 60 regular-season games and attempts at least 4.6 free throws per game.
- Shoots 88.5 percent or better from the free throw line in the regular season.
- Makes at least 2.8 3-pointers per game in the regular season.
- Commits fewer than 2.1 fouls per game in the regular season.
- The Nets score at least 114 points per 100 possessions in the regular season with Irving on the floor.
Those benchmarks are all slightly beyond Irving's season averages and may be tough to reach. Despite posting one best statistical seasons ever, Irving wouldn't have hit any of these eight incentives in Boston last year.
Irving also will be without Durant this season as the forward recovers from an Achilles injury, and remains to be seen how he'll mesh with a new roster and head coach after an ugly final campaign with the C's.
But it appears Kyrie will be motivated by money, as he has an incentive-laden contract that mirrors a deal the New England Patriots may give Tom Brady to maximize their cap space.
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