While a bulk of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason work is done, they continue to be linked to Kyrie Irving in trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite Irving opting in to the final year of his contract with the Nets, Kevin Durant asked out of Brooklyn, which seemed to pave the way for the Lakers to get Irving. There was no reported interest in Irving around the league after it came out that he only wanted to play for the Lakers.
No deal has come to fruition though, with the latest report indicating that the Lakers have been hesitant to include multiple first-round picks along with Russell Westbrook in a deal considering they’re not bidding against any other teams.
The expectation all along was that Irving would not be traded until Durant is dealt since Brooklyn will get a much bigger haul for him that will shape the organization’s future.
Even if Durant is traded though, it’s possible that the Nets keep Irving, and now Brian Lewis of the New York Post is reporting that the point guard has not asked for a trade:
LAS VEGAS — With every day that goes by without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being traded, there is increasing sentiment among league personnel that one or both stars could still be on the Nets roster come training camp.
A source close to the team confirmed that they’ve been in contact with Durant since his trade demand stunned the NBA. Another source close to Irving told The Post that the All-Star point guard not only never asked for a trade, but has had every intention of playing for Brooklyn — with or without Durant.
“How did we get into this situation about trade, when he opted in?” the source asked rhetorically. “Here is the situation. He opted in, which means he had and he has every intention of playing with the Brooklyn Nets. KD decides he wants out and now everybody is talking about trading Kyrie, right?
“Kyrie has not asked for a trade. Now, if the Nets don’t want him, that’s something totally different. Kyrie has not said he wants a trade. He opted in. [So where did] the trade conversations come from? Is it because, KD requested a trade and now everybody’s like let’s trade Ky? Kyrie opted in.”
Just because Irving has not officially asked for a trade does not mean that he won’t be dealt. It’s unlikely that the Nets would want to keep him if they trade away Durant.
If Brooklyn is able to convince Durant to stay though, then that would open the door for Irving to stay as well, leaving the Lakers searching for other options to upgrade their roster ahead of the 2022-23 season.
This report could also serve as a threat to the Lakers, making them increase their offer to multiple first-round picks to land Irving.
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