Lakers News: Why Nets Need To Trade Possible LA Target Kyrie Irving
The point guard is forcing their hand.
What had looked like a lamely dormant trade market this year erupted into chaos this morning, when Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving soured on his current club, demanding to be dealt out of town by next Thursday’s deadline.
Your Los Angeles Lakers appear to be one of the teams most interested in trading for the 6’2″ vet, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Now, a new wrinkle in the Irving saga has emerged.
Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report indicates that the Nets apparently tendered an extension deal with incentives built around Brooklyn winning a title. Irving’s representation, presumably including his stepmother/agent, shut down negotiations at that point, and now Irving apparently claims that he will walk away as a free agent in the 2023 offseason even if Brooklyn offers him a maximum salary (which, by the way, no team is going to do, thanks to Irving’s track record of absenteeism and controversies).
Irving, an eight-time All-Star, played alongside current Lakers All-NBA forward LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2017. Along with big man Kevin Love, they formed a formidable “Big Three” that ran through the Eastern Conference en route to the NBA Finals during each of their three seasons together, winning a championship in 2016. Irving demanded a trade out of town (sound familiar?) following Cleveland’s 2017 Finals defeat to the Golden State Warriors, led by his now-Nets teammate Kevin Durant. After two years with the Boston Celtics, Irving departed in free agency for the Nets. Now, it appears his days at Barclays Center may truly be numbered.
If he did join the Lakers, he and James would create one of the league’s most talented current “Big Threes.” But would he keep his head straight long enough to help the Lakers in the postseason, or would he stir up yet another controversy, as he tends so often to do.