Kyrie Irving Trying To Make His Way To LeBron James’ Lakers?

Kyrie Irving, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have overtaken the NBA rumor mill ahead of free agency. Given the potential implication of Kevin Durant becoming motivated to force his way out of town, it’s understandable this would be at the forefront of NBA conversation.

Irving reportedly provided the Nets with a list of six teams that he’d prefer to join via sign-and-trade if he is unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with Brooklyn. Among those teams were the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers.

As reported by The Athletic, they have sources close to the situation that believe Kyrie Irving is trying to get to the Los Angeles Lakers with the rest of the talk just being noise. Additionally, LeBron James is “very open” to the idea of joining forces with his former co-star again.

Joe, there are sources very close to the situation who strongly believe Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers here and everything else is just (necessary) noise. The sense I get is that James is very open to the idea, but the dynamics are somewhat delicate too.

Where the idea behind Kyrie Irving heading to the Los Angeles Lakers gets interesting is the mechanics behind how it could happen. A lot would have to do with the Brooklyn Nets’ willingness to assist Irving in a potential sign-and-trade. Some believe they’d have no interest while others see it as the best option amid a worst-case scenario.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving Eyeing Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs, 76ers

Allowing Irving to leave for absolutely nothing in return does not seem like a viable option for the Nets. They need to show Kevin Durant they are still serious about winning and allowing his close friend and fellow superstar to depart without any means to replace him would be a disaster. The cleanest option would be to acquire Russell Westbrook in such a sign-and-trade outcome.

If Brooklyn is willing to live dangerously, Irving would need to sign for the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception. Irving would need to be willing to give up nearly $30M in earnings after declining his $36.9M player option to sign for the near $6.3M value he’d earn.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Kyrie Irving Eyeing Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs, 76ers

It would be interesting to see how the Los Angeles Lakers would handle Russell Westbrook’s future with the team if they were able to land Kyrie Irving without giving him up. Would they become more motivated to sacrifice an asset to move Westbrook’s $47.1M expiring salary?

All of these factors will be something to play out and it begins with Irving’s decision with his player option in the coming days. All outcomes begin with him declining it. If it all works out for the Los Angeles Lakers, they could form a trio including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving in what would be a major change of fate.

About Jake Rogers 288 Articles
Jake Rogers is a sports writer who attended Arizona State University and currently serves as a contributor for NBA Analysis Network.