The biggest news circulating around the NBA is the divide between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. Even with the 2022 NBA Draft just days away, his future dominated headlines on Monday as the update was attention-grabbing. One of the biggest reports has linked the Los Angeles Lakers as a potential trade destination.
It has been rumored throughout the offseason that the Nets were not comfortable offering Irving a long-term contract. They have been unable to count on him being available throughout his tenure in Brooklyn, so their hesitancy to commit to him on a lucrative, multi-year contract is understandable.
Now, it has been revealed that there could be some exit plans already in place for the mercurial point guard. The Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and New York Knicks are three potential landing spots that have been mentioned. It’s not a total surprise those are the mentioned landing spots as all three are big market teams with deep pockets.
However, the path to actually joining one of those teams is easier said than done. For the Lakers, it would likely be the hardest. Over at Bleacher Report, Jake Fischer shared some intel on the situation and the chances of Irving teaming up again with LeBron James are slim to none.
LATEST NBA RUMORS AND NEWS: This Celtics-Suns Trade Sends Deandre Ayton To Boston
“If Irving were to opt in for the ’22-23 season with a hope of being traded to Los Angeles, Brooklyn would have little incentive to negotiate with the Lakers, who would struggle to send commensurate value back to the Nets.”
The purple and gold do not have many assets to trade in a deal for anyone, let alone an All-Star the caliber of Irving. Matching his salary would also prove difficult unless the Lakers can convince the Nets to take back Russell Westbrook.
LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving Could Leave Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks Among Suitors
Would this be a scenario in which Los Angeles is willing to attach first-round compensation along with Westbrook to get a deal done? Brooklyn likely has no interest in taking on Westbrook, as he would be a poor fit alongside Ben Simmons.
Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn are the only players on the roster that have contracts worth less than a max deal but more than a veteran’s minimum. They don’t make nearly enough salary to match Irving, making the path to acquiring him very difficult for Los Angeles.