Although it seems very unlikely at this point that star guard Kyrie Irving will find himself with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2022-23 season, there’s seemingly still a chance that he’ll land with the franchise down the road.
The Lakers seem interested in making that happen, and according to a recent report, the team is looking to keep cap space available next summer for when Irving becomes a free agent.
The “belief” is that the #Lakers are trying to keep as much cap space available next summer for Kyrie Irving when he becomes a free agent.
LA will “try” their best in any trade to not take back any long-term salary past this year.
— 🦉 Lakers Vino (@VinoUncorked) September 1, 2022
The Lakers have no shortage of point guards on their roster right now, as Russell Westbrook is still with the team, and Patrick Beverley recently joined the squad.
However, both players are set to hit free agency after the 2022-23 season, which means the Lakers will likely be in the market for a point guard when that time comes.
The fact that the Lakers are looking to keep long-term money off the books is an interesting development, as it may impact the players they target in trade talks for the 2022-23 campaign. Buddy Hield, for example, is not playing on an expiring contract. He’s signed through the 2023-24 season.
It has become abundantly clear that the Lakers are high on Irving, who is entering his 12th season in the NBA. Irving is a seven-time All-Star, and he won a title in 2016 with LeBron James.
The 30-year-old would be a fabulous backcourt addition for Los Angeles, though drama trends to follow him wherever he goes. Last season, he played in just 29 games for the Brooklyn Nets due to his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In those 29 contests, he averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Availability issues are certainly a concern when it comes to Irving, as he has appeared in just 103 games over the past three seasons. That gives him an average of about 34 games per season during that span.
Time will tell what the future holds for the Lakers and Irving, but it seems like this is a story that’s worth keeping an eye on.