How Does Kyrie Irving's Season-Ending Injury Affect the Brooklyn Nets Financially?

Kyrie Irving
How does Kyrie Irving season-ending injury affect the Nets financially Mike Stobe/Getty

The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday that point guard Kyrie Irving will sit out for the remainder of the season due to shoulder surgery--which means the team will be paying him a max salary for just 20 games.

During this past off-season, Irving and the Nets agreed to a four-year contract worth $136.5 million, paying him $31.7 million for the 2019-20 season. Since Irving will be sitting out for the remainder of the season, the Nets will be paying him the $31.7 million for just 20 games, which converts to about $1.6 million per game.

In addition to signing Irving this off-season, the Nets also agreed to a similar four-year deal with their other major acquisition, Kevin Durant, worth a grand total of $164.3 million, and a starting salary of $38.2 million for the 2019-2020 season. While Durant will be paid more than Irving, he is also sitting out for the entire season as he recovers form an Achilles injury suffered during the 2019 NBA finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors.

With the injuries both players suffered and their combined salaries totaling $69.9 million, during the 2019-2020 season, the Nets will be paying nearly $3.5 million per game, for the combined 20 games played from Durant and Irving.

It was never really about this year for the Brooklyn Nets, but they paid $69,941,000 in 2019-20 for 20 combined games from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Almost $3.5 million per game played.

— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 20, 2020

While Durant has been sidelined for the entire season, the combined salaries of the two, which total $69.9 million, show that the Nets will be paying nearly $3.5 million per game for the combined 20 games played, all of which came from Irving.

Despite the injuries suffered by the Nets most recent acquisitions, they have continued to play well, and sometimes better, without Durant and Irving. The Nets 17-17 this season when Irving is not on the floor while they are 8-12 in the games he has played.

This is also not the first time a team has had to deal with Irving missing large chunks of time due to injuries, which the Nets likely knew when they signed the six-time NBA All-Star point guard.

In 2015, while playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving suffered a fractured kneecap during the first game of the NBA finals. Irving was forced to miss the rest of the series, which the Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors, as well as missing the first two months of the next season.

Irving then missed games as a member of the Boston Celtics during the 2017-2018 season, from injuries to the same knee. He was sidelined for the final month of the season as well as the Celtics' playoff run, where they lost to the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Irving's injuries even stem back to his time as a Duke Blue Devil, when he missed 11 total games in his single season there due to a toe injury.

Despite the absence of Irving and Durant, the Nets will look to rebound after their most previous loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their upcoming game on Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.