Going back to last offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked with Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving. When he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets, there were rumors about the Lakers looking to trade for him and those returned when Irving demanded a trade from Brooklyn ahead of the trade deadline.
Ultimately, the Lakers and Nets were unable to come to terms on a deal and Brooklyn dealt Irving to Dallas. Meanwhile, the Lakers made big changes to their team at the trade deadline, bringing in D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba and have looked like a completely different team since.
The possibility of the Lakers pursuing Irving still lingered as the point guard is an unrestricted free agent this summer. But according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers have no plans on pursuing Irving this offseason and prefer to run this current team back next year:
From what I’ve been told by my sources around the organization, they wanted to run this situation (current roster) back. It’s looked good so far. They’ve won a lot of games. They’ve done a lot of winning without LeBron James. That’s something that’s kind of been under-discussed. The non-LeBron minutes were always an issue for the Lakers going back to his first year in LA and the championship season… This is my third season on the beat, and this is the best chemistry and vibes I’ve seen around the team.
From what I’ve been told, they’re not going to be pursuing Kyrie Irving this offseason… To my knowledge and to what I’ve been told, the Kyrie ship, I think, has sailed. You never want to say never. That could easily change, but as of right now, their plan is to run this (team) back.
While Irving is extremely talented, and LeBron James has openly pushed for a reunion with his former teammate in L.A., drama and controversy have surrounded him over the years. Since making their trade deadline moves, the Lakers have looked like a team capable of competing with anyone on any given night and wanting to test that out over a full season makes sense.
The Lakers will have some of their own free agents to bring back if the plan is to run this team back. Most notably Russell, Austin Reaves, Dennis Schroder and Troy Brown Jr. will all be free agents this summer so the front office will have some decisions to make. Things can always change, but it looks as if the Lakers’ path moving forward does not involve Kyrie Irving.
Lakers fall back to 10th in Western Conference following loss to Rockets
As far as this season is concerned, the Lakers took a hit with their disappointing loss to the Houston Rockets. Once again failing to reach the .500 mark, the Lakers fell to 10th in the West, though they remain in the Play-In Tournament for the time being.
Coincidentally, the team’s next game is against Irving and the Dallas Mavericks where a win would bring the two teams into a tie in the standings so Friday’s contest will be extremely important.
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