Draymond Green Believes Lakers Could Contend With Kyrie Irving But Would Not Beat Warriors
Anthony Davis, Draymond Green
Adam Pantozzi-NBAE

At the end of a wild 2021-22 NBA season, it was a familiar sighting of the Golden State Warriors holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green won their fourth NBA Championship in eight seasons. Now every team, including the Los Angeles Lakers, will be shooting for the Warriors next season.

That is nothing new as LeBron James against the Warriors has been the biggest rivalry in basketball for the past decade. And the latest rumors heading into free agency involve Kyrie Irving finding his way on the Lakers and a reunion with LeBron, which would immediately make L.A. championship contenders.

Green agrees that the hypothetical move would make the Lakers contenders as LeBron would bring the best out of Irving. But, to the surprise of no one, Draymond would still take the Warriors in that matchup, via Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg:

“With LeBron, if you give him someone like Kyrie … they’ll have a chance because of the way Kyrie can score the basketball,” he said. “LeBron will only put him in position to do that. Kyrie has not proven to be a great leader. LeBron will put an umbrella over that. If you can do what you’re good at, you have LeBron leading.”

“They could contend,” he admitted, “but they won’t beat us.”

Green is never one to hold back his opinion and he does make some solid points regarding the James-Irving dynamic. Since parting from LeBron in Cleveland, Irving has struggled to succeed in being the main focus and leader of a team, but with James, that is no longer an issue.

Despite that, Irving remains one of the most talented scorers not just today, but in the history of the NBA.

Of course, this all remains hypothetical as Irving’s saga with the Nets continues on. By all accounts, it seems as if he is set on joining the Lakers be it through a trade or by opting out of his contract and signing with the Lakers outright. But if it does ultimately come to fruition, LeBron and Irving will undoubtedly be looking forward to making Green eat his words.

Irving willing to take taxpayer mid-level exception to join Lakers?

While Irving taking $30 million less to join the Lakers via the mid-level exception seemed highly unlikely, it apparently could be a real possibility. It could also be a leverage play in order for Irving to get the trade done, but nothing will be for sure until the deadline for Irving to make his decision.

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