Stephen A. Smith declares Kyrie Irving won’t re-sign with Nets and plans to join Lakers

David Akerman
3 Min Read

Brooklyn Nets superstar point guard Kyrie Irving saw himself get linked to the Los Angeles Lakers all throughout the 2022 NBA offseason.

At some points, it felt inevitable that Irving would somehow end up in Los Angeles. Of course, he’s still with the Nets and is getting ready to try to have a resurgent 2022-23 season.

Although it was recently reported that Irving isn’t a part of L.A.’s long-term plans, sports pundit Stephen A. Smith said that the seven-time All-Star isn’t re-signing with the Nets and is planning to go to Los Angeles.

“This is it,” Smith started. “Barring a trade before the trading deadline, this is their last season together. … Kyrie’s not re-signing with Brooklyn. Kyrie’s planning on going to Los Angeles. He’s trying to go to Los Angeles. That’s what he was trying to do over the summer. That’s what he’s trying to do now.”

Many reports about Irving’s future have made the rounds recently, and it seems like people will just have to wait until the end of this season for a concrete answer.

As a result of him picking up his player option for this season, Irving now only has one year left on his deal and is scheduled to become a free agent in the 2023 offseason.

Given all of the baggage that Irving has, some teams might be disinclined to go after him. His talent is undeniable, and he’s continued to show that he is one of the best players in the league.

Last season, he averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He was only able to play in 29 regular season games due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and seemed to constantly make headlines for things he was doing off the court.

While Irving might be a nice fit on the Lakers, the franchise will need to decide whether or not it can handle the off-court distractions he brings.

The team has already dealt with enough in recent seasons, and it was unable to make the playoffs last season after making a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook.

Despite a roster overhaul during the 2022 offseason, things still seem a bit weird with Westbrook in L.A.

It’s definitely possible that the Lakers let Westbrook walk in the 2023 offseason and try to acquire Irving in order to replace him. That would really be an interesting move, but for now, L.A. has its mind focused on the start of the 2022-23 regular season.

Roster upgrades will have to take a back seat for the meantime.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.