Could Kyrie Irving reunite with former teammate?
Kyrie Irving on Friday informed the Brooklyn Nets that he wants a trade, and the Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as a potential suitor.
The Nets and Lakers had some discussions during the offseason centered on Irving. L.A. was looking to part with Russell Westbrook at the time, and many floated the idea of an Irving-Westbrook swap since both star point guards are on hefty expiring contracts.
After news broke that Irving wants out of Brooklyn, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times said he expects the Lakers to have “serious discussions” about acquiring Irving. He lists the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, and Dallas Mavericks as other teams that might have interest in the eight-time All-Star.
As Woike notes, the Lakers and Nets could not make a one-for-one trade. Irving is playing under a $36 million player option this season, while Westbrook is earning $47 million in the final year of his deal. If the two sides were motivated to make the swap, however, they would almost certainly find a way.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Irving has interest in joining the Lakers.
ESPN Sources: Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
Irving and LeBron James had issues toward the end of their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that all seems like water under the bridge. They have praised one another on numerous occasions since, and LeBron supposedly pushed hard last summer for the Lakers to acquire his former teammate.
The Lakers want to make another big move ahead of next Thursday’s trade deadline. If they believe Irving can get them closer to title contention, they may finally pull the trigger.