Kyrie Irving reportedly has mutual interest with only 1 team
The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly given Kyrie Irving permission to seek a trade, but that does not mean there is much interest in the star point guard. If Irving does choose to leave the team, it may be with one specific destination in mind.
Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News was told by sources that the Nets have given Irving the green light to pursue sign-and-trade scenarios. Irving has until Wednesday to decide if he will exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He could opt in and agree to an extension with the Nets to facilitate a sign-and-trade, but where?
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team that has shown interest in potentially trading for Irving. They do not have the salary cap space to sign Irving if he declines his option, though there has been some talk of Kyrie taking the $6 million mid-level exception to reunite with LeBron James.
If Irving declines his $36M player option, he would be eligible to sign with the Lakers for the $6M exception. Deadline is Wednesday to decide on option.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2022
The interest between the Lakers and Irving is said to be mutual. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Monday that there are people “very close to the situation who strongly believe Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers here and everything else is just (necessary) noise.”
Of course, the Lakers still have to figure out what to do with Russell Westbrook. The idea of Westbrook going to Brooklyn in some sort of trade involving Irving has been floated, but a Westbrook-Kevin Durant reunion seems unlikely. Though, the two seem to have settled any beef they had previously.
Speaking of beef, Irving has been openly critical of LeBron in the past. The two won a title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers before Irving decided he did not like being the second option behind James. He later came to appreciate how difficult it is to lead a team and apologized to LeBron. At the very least, all indications are that the two have not closed the door on playing together again.