Rumors of Kyrie Irving’s potential move to the Los Angeles Lakers spread for a major part of the 2022 offseason, even after the Brooklyn Nets playmaker opted into the final year of his contract.
Although the Lakers reportedly hoped Irving would hit free agency so they could sign him for the taxpayer mid-level exception money, they were understood to be chasing the divisive guard even after he picked up his player option. Many reports claimed L.A. reportedly offered Russell Westbrook in exchange for Irving, but the Nets weren’t interested in acquiring the 2017 NBA MVP.
Fast forward a few months and the Purple and Gold seem to have dodged a bullet. Irving has again stirred up controversy, promoting an anti-Semitic movie on social media and failing to detach himself from the film’s discriminatory claims. The 30-year-old’s conduct earned him an eight-game ban imposed by Brooklyn.
Due to his troubled past, Irving had little trade value back in the summer with the Lakers rumored to be the only team pondering a move for the guard. But Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported on the “Dan Patrick Show” that even L.A. has no interest in the talented playmaker now ahead of the trade deadline:
“Sources told me he is expected to return this Sunday. I guess the Memphis Grizzlies — that will be the Brooklyn Nets’ first home game after this road trip. With that being said, look, I can’t sit here and lie to you, and say that there’s much value in trading for Kyrie [Irving]. I’m on the phones with a lot of teams, his name is not really coming up. Even for the Los Angeles Lakers who he was tied to for much of the offseason. That’s just not something I’m hearing right now. … But if you’re talking about beyond this season, do I see Kyrie with the Nets? That’s really hard to see. I can’t imagine a scenario where he would be a member of the Nets by next season.”
Irving has recently issued an apology for his behavior with reports claiming he has met the Nets’ requirements he had to fulfill before being allowed back on the court.
In eight games for Brooklyn this season, Irving averages 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists, although shooting a poor 28% for 3.
Lakers ‘monitoring the situation’ with Hornets free agent Miles Bridges
The Lakers are believed to be keeping tabs on another controversial player, reportedly “monitoring the situation” of Charlotte Hornets wing Miles Bridges — who is investigated by the league after pleading no contest to a domestic violence case.
Bridges remains a restricted free agent and has yet to play this season. Any team can sign an offer sheet with Bridges as the NBA hasn’t yet suspended the 24-year-old. However, the Hornets hold the right to match any offer sheet the Michigan State alum receives.
As part of the deal with the prosecutors, Bridges has been sentenced to three years of probation but will not serve jail time for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child.
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