Report: Nets owner’s presumed objective was to send Kyrie Irving anywhere but Lakers

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

When Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving demanded a trade on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of a few teams rumored to be interested in him, leading their fans to dream of a miracle blockbuster deal.

But Irving was instead sent to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, and according to a report, perhaps the Nets never wanted to even deal with the Lakers in good faith.

“The Nets, rather than trading with Phoenix or the Lakers, ultimately came away with the two Mavericks they wanted most and a better win-now duo than L.A. could offer: [Spencer] Dinwiddie and [Dorian] Finney-Smith,” wrote Marc Stein. “The Nets also succeeded, as one source close to the process put it, in meeting one of the presumed objectives held by team owner Joe Tsai by sending Irving somewhere other than the Lakers — his preferred destination.”

Many feel there is a sense of jealousy and even hate towards the Lakers across the NBA. However, perhaps the main factor here was that Irving had reportedly wanted to join them for some time.

He is apparently still friends with LeBron James, with whom he won a championship in 2016, and he is also a big fan and disciple of the late Kobe Bryant.

In Dallas, Irving will be teaming up with Luka Doncic, who has been playing on a team that has given him very little support over the last few years. Now, Irving and Doncic will be forming a dynamic duo and quite possibly the best backcourt in pro basketball.

The Mavs’ championship odds have instantly sprouted as a result of the trade, but they still likely lack enough talent to go all the way. They have had their issues defensively this season, and they could use more 3-point shooters around Irving and Doncic.

Meanwhile, the Lakers and their fans have come back to reality after flirting with the possibility of putting together a true superteam.

Los Angeles still has a few real trade chips, including the expiring contracts of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley and their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks. In addition, it could choose to move guard Lonnie Walker IV, who has a $6.48 million expiring contract, in order to improve the roster.

The team badly needs better 3-point shooting, and defense and rebounding have been problems lately. On Saturday, it blew a solid second-half lead and gave up 131 points in a loss to a New Orleans Pelicans team that had lost 10 games in a row.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.