Kyrie Irving Has ‘Great Interest’ In Joining Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The top storyline around the NBA ahead of free agency is the apparent inevitable demise of the Brooklyn Nets. They granted Kyrie Irving permission to work with other teams on sign-and-trade scenarios ahead of the deadline for his $36.5M player option.

Where Irving would end up next has been a frequently speculated topic. Despite compiling a list of six total preferred destinations in the event of a sign-and-trade, only the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be a somewhat viable option at this stage.

According to ESPN, the Lakers are the only team with interest in coordinating a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets to acquire Kyrie Irving. However, there is ‘no interest’ from the Nets in what the Lakers have to offer — meaning they don’t want Russell Westbrook.

Irving needs a trade partner to coordinate an agreement on a deal to get a long-term, maximum contract, but only the Lakers have interest in executing a sign-and-trade once free agency opens on Thursday night, sources said.

So far, the Nets have no interest in taking back the available Lakers packages, sources said.

The Lakers are not going to part with either LeBron James or Anthony Davis to acquire Kyrie Irving in a trade. They’d need to part with Russell Westbrook in some form to make a deal work, but finding an interested trade suitor is easier said than done. They lack much for trade value in general, too.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Brooklyn Nets Star Kyrie Irving Trying To Make His Way To LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers?

It was described as being ‘great interest’ from Irving in joining the Lakers. He may need to decline his $36.5M player option in order to sign for the $6.3M Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception. Yes, you read that right. He’d have to sacrifice over $30 million to leave the Nets to join the Lakers if a sign-and-trade isn’t an option to make the move happen.

Irving has great interest in joining the Lakers, sources said, which he could do by declining the $36.5 million option and signing with Los Angeles for the $6 million taxpayer mid-level exception.

Assuming Irving stays consistently available now that COVID-19 vaccinations and major political protests are no longer prevalent events, there’s a lot to like about how he’d fit with the Lakers. He’d bring a dynamic shot creation presence and off-ball threat in ways that Russell Westbrook was an outright liability last season.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: Brooklyn Nets Star Kyrie Irving Trying To Make His Way To LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers would undoubtedly be taking a risk by acquiring Kyrie Irving if they were to execute a trade for him. However, only using the Taxpayer MLE would be a minimal risk that would give them a full season to see how it pans out before offering a long-term deal.

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.