Photo: Associated Press

Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith thinks that Kyrie Irving will be extra motivated next season as he will be playing for a new contract.

Because of that Smith expects the former NBA champion to play on a very high level and has him among his MVP candidates for the 2022-2023 season.

“I got Kyrie Irving as one of my top league MVP candidates,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “I think Kyrie Irving gonna put on a show this year. Everybody better brace themselves because the brother playing for a new contract, he’s playing for a new contract. It matters, $200 million.

This past season Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 37.7 minutes per game for the Nets.