The Brooklyn Nets point guard is reportedly interested in wearing a Lakers uniform. However, there is some “pessimism” from “sources with knowledge of the situation” that the Lakers will trade for Irving because of his apparent desire for a long-term contract.
“Changes could be coming — the trade deadline is Thursday,” wrote Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “But after a day of rampant speculation, there’s pessimism that the Lakers will swing a deal for Kyrie Irving, because of the star Brooklyn point guard’s contract demands in free agency this summer, sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly told The Times.
“Irving is expected to seek a four-year maximum contract, with the Lakers preferring a two-year deal, aligning with the two years remaining on [LeBron] James’ deal.”
There have been reports coming out that the All-Star guard made a request to be sent to a different team because of a contract dispute with the Nets front office.
Kyrie Irving’s camp did not negotiate after Brooklyn Nets presented an offer that was tied to team winning a championship, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport. Told the issue was not about money, and now it’s said he wouldn’t even stay if offered a full max contract.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 3, 2023
Perhaps a trade to the Lakers could cause him to be amenable to a team-friendly contract extension. After all, playing with James, his former teammate, could provide him with a better opportunity to win another NBA title.
Of course, Los Angeles has another star in Anthony Davis, and playing with the James-Davis duo could potentially lessen Irving’s workload as he continues to grow in age.
The 30-year-old has had to carry a huge burden for the Nets this season because of Kevin Durant’s extended time on the shelf. In his last eight appearances, Irving has averaged 33.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists per contest while seeing action for 38.2 minutes per game.
It remains to be seen if the Lakers will pull the trigger on an Irving trade. The team is reportedly still figuring out the legitimacy of the trade request. However, the writing seems to be on the wall after his playing status changed following the news.
A lot of people around the league are waiting on what Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office will do. Even James seems to be watching.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 3, 2023
A roster shake-up might be what the doctor ordered for the Lakers. After entering the 2022-23 campaign with high hopes of competing for a championship, they are currently languishing near the bottom of the Western Conference with a 25-29 standing.
Time is running out for Los Angeles, and landing the former Rookie of the Year could very well help the organization turn things around.