ESPN Sources: Outside of the Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning pursuit of sign-and-trades for Nets G Kyrie Irving. No sign-and-trades can be formally discussed until after 6 PM on Thursday. Brooklyn isn't believed to have interest in available Lakers packages.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2022
Irving’s future as a member of the Nets remains up in the air, given the lack of progress regarding a contract extension with the team.
That’s led to the prospect of the 30-year-old Irving heading elsewhere, though the reluctance on the part of other teams appears to be due to a variety of factors.
Among the major concerns about Irving is his injury history as well as his controversial stance against taking the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, he has a player option for just about $37 million for the 2022-23 season.
That adamant stance by Irving resulted in him seeing action in only 29 regular season games and four playoff games this past season.
Signing Irving to a new deal means making a large investment in a player who has only played in 103 regular season contests during his three years with the Nets.
The Lakers don’t appear to be concerned about such drawbacks after missing the playoffs this past season. When they acquired guard Russell Westbrook last year, he was seen as a key piece of a lineup that could contend for a championship.
Instead, chemistry issues involving Westbrook as well as key injuries led to an incredibly disappointing year that the Lakers don’t want to repeat.
Irving and LeBron James have a history together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2016, the duo paced the Cavaliers to a stunning comeback in the NBA Finals to win the franchise’s only championship.
The Lakers would like to experience a similar situation, but unless they find a better way to entice the Nets, obtaining Irving doesn’t appear to be a likely event.