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The Nets are preparing for a season without star guard Kyrie Irving after announcing on Tuesday that Irving will not be allowed to participate in any team activities until he meets the local COVID-19 vaccine requirement that is gating eligibility for Nets players.
The Nets had been evaluating their options for Irving as a part-time player, with Steve Nash saying it’s possible Irving could come off the bench in road games – but the organization is now putting Irving in a position where he’ll either have to adhere to the vaccination mandate or miss an entire year.
Irving is set to lose millions of dollars should he remain unvaccinated, as a part of an NBA-NBPA agreement that players will lose a portion of their salary for every game missed due to local vaccine mandates. GM Sean Marks confirmed Tuesday that Irving will still be paid by the Nets for away games missed due to the organization’s own policy that Irving is ineligible until he’s able to be a full participant.
So, what does that mean for Irving’s bank account? Irving was originally set to make $34,916,200 in his third year with the Nets.
As per the agreed pay reduction, Irving will be docked 1/91.6 of his yearly salary for every game missed due to local mandates (potentially 43 in his case, with 41 home games and two away games in the same market against the Knicks). That means he’ll lose around $380,000 on at least 41 occasions, adding up to around $15,580,000 in lost wages (and possibly up to $16,340,000 if he’s ruled to be on the hook for the Knicks games as well).
That would reduce Irving’s projected earnings to $19,336,200, assuming he remains with the Nets and remains unvaccinated throughout the season. In context, that reduced salary would still leave Irving as the 59th highest-paid player in the NBA, without Irving having to play a game.
This post originally appeared on Nets Wire.