With the start of training camp just around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time if they want to make roster upgrades before the 2022-23 season starts.
It’s no secret that the Lakers have interest in Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, hoping to incentivize the Nets with two future first-round draft picks to take back Russell Westbrook.
The Nets reportedly want win-now pieces back if they were to trade Irving though, which is why talks seem to be at a standstill with a third team needing to get involved.
As training camp draws closer though, the odds of the Nets keeping Irving are continuing to increase. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Nets are telling interested teams that they’re planning on keeping the seven-time All-Star for the 2022-23 season:
All-Star Kyrie Irving also opted into his $37 million player option, committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working out with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star, according to sources.
With negotiations ongoing, it’s possible that letting this be known is a way for the Nets to gain some leverage. There hasn’t been any reported interest around the league in Irving outside of the Lakers, who do not have a ton of assets at their disposal.
Brooklyn’s main priority right now is finding a deal for Kevin Durant though. If he gets traded, then it’s hard to imagine them holding onto Irving unless they still feel they can compete without Durant.
Regardless, the Nets are not going to trade Irving before Durant when they are trying to convince the latter to stay and withdraw his trade request.
If Irving is indeed staying in Brooklyn then the Lakers will have to look elsewhere for roster upgrades. They have been in contact with both the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz, and they also reportedly have other options that have not yet been reported.
James remains ‘adamant’ that Lakers should trade for Irving
One person who won’t be happy with this most recent report is LeBron James as he has reportedly remained ‘adamant’ that the Lakers trade for his former Cleveland Cavaliers co-star.
Before James signed his extension though, Rob Pelinka reportedly promised him that all assets will be on the table if a move can make them championship contenders, so expect something to be done before the start of the season even if it’s not Irving.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!