Lakers Rumors: L.A. Was Not Willing To Give Kyrie Irving Long-Term Extension In Trade Talks With Nets Over Summer
Kyrie Irving, Nets, Lakers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been quite the week for the Brooklyn Nets with the firing of head coach Steve Nash and the Kyrie Irving debacle. Brooklyn is off to a slow start to the season with controversy following the organization on and off the court.

The Los Angeles Lakers were in the midst of a possible Russell Westbrook-Irving swap over the summer, but nothing came to fruition for many reasons. Brooklyn reportedly was interested in win-now talent to make a deal happen, which would have required a third team. The Lakers even broke their mold and were willing to include multiple first-round picks to get the deal done.

But, nothing came to fruition. Irving opted into his contract and the Nets made it clear that they were not interested in trading him as the season approached. In turn, the Lakers became eager to make the Westbrook fit work.

Three months later, it seems to have been the correct choice with Irving’s recent suspension. Though, a key detail in the Lakers’ reluctance to acquire Irving was revealed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski this week in that they were not willing to offer him a long-term extension in trade talks:

“I think it speaks to what happened last summer when Brooklyn was hesitant to giving Kyrie Irving a long-term guaranteed contract. So were the Lakers in a sign-and-trade scenario with Brooklyn. So I think for Kyrie Irving, these were the questions that put him in this situation where he was in the final year of his deal and I don’t think there’s anything that’s happened so far this season on the court, and especially off the court, that’s going to give anybody more comfort with committing to Kyrie Irving on a long-term contract that leaves an organization without the flexibility to move out from under it. So I think for Kyrie Irving, he’s right back where he was last summer which is having to prove himself. Prove that he can be trusted, that he’s a good faith partner for an NBA team whether it’s Brooklyn or elsewhere in the league.”

Irving opted into the final year of his 4-year, $136,490,600 contract last summer, creating a situation where he would have to prove his worth to not only the Nets but the league. The Lakers shared similar concerns, unsure if the guard can be trusted with a long-term deal.

There were reports that Irving hopes to join L.A. no matter what next summer as a free agent. His relationship with Kobe Bryant plays a role in his desire, however, it seems unlikely that the Lakers would reciprocate that same energy due to recent events.

Anthony Davis believes the Lakers are putting everything together

After an 0-5 start, the Lakers have won consecutive games, including an overtime win against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday. A change from the first four games is Westbrook’s move out of the starting lineup.

Davis believes after back-to-back wins that the Lakers are headed in the right direction.

“It’s starting to click, we’re starting to find things. Find rotations, find situations where we really good and guys are standing ready, coming in, and playing well. So we’re starting to put everything together.”

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