Kyrie Irving suiting up as a Los Angeles Laker is at its most likely stage, but there’s still some negotiating to be done.
It was reported Monday that trade talks reached a halt with the Lakers making “no traction” on a deal to acquire Irving. The Lakers are the only team engaged with the Nets for a trade swapping Russell Westbrook for Irving, but they haven’t yet been aggressive in their pursuiy.
LeBron James, who famously won a title with Kyrie in 2016, is openly lobbying for the Lakers to strike a deal. The move will create a pairing that has proven to work in the past, unlike the one with Westbrook.
For Irving to actually play for the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs could potentially be the third team with cap space to help facilitate the deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on “NBA Today” on Wednesday afternoon:
“I think that’s another consideration that Brooklyn has to make, whether it’s a positive or negative to move Kyrie Irving either before Kevin Durant or after Kevin Durant. The market is certainly very different for Kyrie Irving and the Nets have talked with the Lakers. I believe there’s been back-and-forth and communication and you look at where there’s cap space right now. A team like San Antonio could be a facilitator right now in let’s say a Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving deal between the teams. They have the cap space. Now, you would have to incentivize them at a pretty high level. The unwillingness of the Lakers to incentivize a deal with multiple picks, I think that’s still part of the reason that’s a deal that hasn’t gone anywhere yet. That can always change with Rob Pelinka and Sean Marks in Vegas this week moving forward, I’m sure they’ll have conversations there. But I do think that’s part of the equation for Brooklyn, again, do they handle the Kevin Durant deal first and then revisit this?”
The Nets have been clear about their disinterest in acquiring Westbrook, opening the option for another team such as the Spurs or even Charlotte Hornets to swoop in as a third team.
The Hornets were interested in acquiring Westbrook to open up cap space for Miles Bridges’ max contract. However, that is likely not the case anymore since the Hornets revoked Bridges’ deal because of the forward’s recent domestic violence case.
How willing the Spurs would be to work with the Lakers is another question. San Antonio had no interest in trading star Kawhi Leonard to L.A. in 2018 when Leonard made it clear he wanted to play there. It might be different this time around since the Spurs recently got rid of star Dejounte Murray are are in a rebuilding phase though.
The Lakers are expected to have further talks about a possible Irving trade during the Vegas Summer League this weekend.
Troy Brown Jr. Believes He’s Coming ‘Full Circle’ Joining L.A.
Moments into free agency, the Lakers brought on young wing defender Troy Brown Jr. on a veterans minimum deal. The No. 15 pick in the 2018 draft has struggled to be acclimated to the league but has high potential.
In his first comments as a Laker, Brown even mentioned the team was interested in selecting him with the No. 25 pick. He finally came around to wearing the Purple and Gold this season, however, making it a special moment for the forward.
“For it to all come full circle and then have a jersey like five years later I think that definitely was hitting me at that moment. It just shows that everything works out eventually.”
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