LeBron James Breaks Silence On Lakers’ Kyrie Irving Pursuit

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

Ahead of the February 9th NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers remain among the various teams linked in trade rumors to Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving. After another round of failed contract extension talks, he requested to be traded on Friday afternoon.

LeBron James, who won the 2016 NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers with Irving as his co-star, is a major proponent of the Lakers pursuing a trade for Irving. While Irving has not expressed specific teams to which he’d like to be traded, he is reportedly open to playing alongside James with the Lakers.

Irving and the Nets have proven unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract multiple times now, dating back to the summer. This is now his second request to be traded. He desires a four-year contract worth around the max $198.5 million he can receive.

Is the Lakers’ involvement in the latest NBA trade rumors a distraction for the players? James made clear that everyone should be used to it by now, considering the midseason deadline is an annual factor that every player has to deal with.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

“It shouldn’t be an issue. The trade deadline happens every single year,” James said. “You go out and focus, no matter what happens. You’re still a professional.”

And while James said he didn’t want to speak for the Lakers’ front office about possible trades, he didn’t quibble with the notion that Kyrie Irving, who has requested a trade and won a title with James in Cleveland, could help the Lakers.

“That’s a ‘duh’ question when talking about a player like that,” James said.

In terms of what a trade would look like for the Lakers, it would surely need to begin with the expiring $47.1 million salary of Russell Westbrook. Los Angeles is willing to part with the two future first-round picks they are eligible to move if required to complete a trade for Irving.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The Nets seek to acquire win-now talents to pair with Kevin Durant as they aim to remain competitive after parting with Irving. In the latest NBA trade rumors, other teams linked to Irving include the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, beyond just the Lakers. Earlier on Saturday, the LA Clippers emerged as possible suitors as they continue searching for a point guard upgrade.

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About Jake Rogers 406 Articles
Jake Rogers is a sports writer who attended Arizona State University and currently serves as a contributor for NBA Analysis Network.