Nets set ‘unlikely’ performance incentives in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving deals to manage cap space

Brooklyn has structured the contracts of its two stars in an interesting way.

The Nets signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to four-year, max deals this summer with player options in 2022-2023, but the duo will have to meet some specific requirements to get all their money, according to a report from ESPN. Brooklyn included approximately $1 million apiece for the two in yearly performance-based incentives in a likely attempt manipulate cap space favorably. These marks won’t be easy to reach.

ESPN’s report states Irving has a total of eight incentives he is “unlikely” to reach that become more difficult in each year of his contract. The Nets are asking Irving to play in 70 games, shoot 88.5 percent from the free throw line and make at least 2.8 3-pointers per game in the regular season, among other things. He has played more than 70 regular season games three times in his eight-year career, is a career 87.5 percent free throw shooter and has averaged 2.8 3-pointers per game once (2017-18).

There are team incentives that would likely require Irving to help Brooklyn rise to the cream of the crop as a unit statistically – on both sides of the ball. It didn’t rank better than 15th in offensive or defensive rating in 2018-19, according to NBA.com.

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