Rumors still claim the Los Angeles Lakers might pull off a blockbuster trade to bring in Kyrie Irving this offseason.
The NBA is entering a noisy period with free agency starting on July 1. Two days before that, the deadline passes for plenty of teams and players to pick up their options for 2022-23.
One of those players is Irving, who reportedly can’t come to an agreement over a contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets. The stalled negotiations sparked rumblings over Irving’s potential exit — with L.A. believed to be one of his preferred destinations.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, if the Lakers decide to try trading for the 30-year-old, they won’t make Anthony Davis available:
“I’ve been told in no uncertain terms Anthony Davis is not getting traded,” said Zach Lowe. “So let’s get that out of the way, let alone [traded] for Kyrie Irving.”
Irving can join the Lakers by either opting out of the last year on his contract and signing for them through their $6 million taxpayer midlevel exception or picking up his player option and having L.A. and Brooklyn engineer a trade that would send him to California.
That practically makes Russell Westbrook the only asset the Purple and Gold could offer the Nets in exchange for Irving to match the incoming and outgoing salary in the trade. However, Westbrook himself would have to pick up his $47.1 million player option, which he is still expected to do.
Irving reportedly spoke to LeBron James about potential reunion in L.A
The Irving-to-Lakers rumors only escalated after reports claimed the Nets guard had already reached out to LeBron James to discuss a potential reunion.
Irving and James won the 2016 NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers before the playmaker requested a trade and landed on the Boston Celtics a year later.
With Davis not expected to be traded, it seems like James is trying to add Irving to the mix to create a new lethal Big 3.
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