Kyrie Irving and the LA Lakers have been linked to each other since the Brooklyn Nets declined to offer the player a long-term extension. Several NBA rumors previously suggested that Irving was eager to join the 17-time NBA champions.
However, the latest reports by Bally Sports’ Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson indicate that the Lakers’ desire to bring him is greater than his desire to play for them.
“Kyrie Irving becoming a Laker is still ‘a Lakers desire more than an Irving desire currently’ I’m told,” wrote Robinson via Twitter.
The Lakers have been the only team to show interest in acquiring Kyrie Irving. The Nets All-Star guard’s stock fell after he refused to get vaccinated. It prevented him from suiting up for Brooklyn until January. Irving has also been injury-prone, so teams have been hesitant to bring him aboard as he will be a one-year rental.
However, the LA Lakers desperately need to improve. The only way to do that is by trading Russell Westbrook. Acquiring a player of Kyrie Irving’s talent would be a win for LA as Westbrook’s value in the market is at an all-time low, and teams are reluctant to take on his $47 million salary.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will have to attach 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to move Westbrook. However, they have been hesitant to do so and have struggled to move the former league MVP.
NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving and LA Lakers are destined to enter a partnership after his tenure ends with the Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving’s time in the Eastern Conference could be up. Given the latest NBA rumors, all indications are that the five-time All-Star will move to the LA Lakers after the end of his stint with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, that could be this offseason or next offseason when Irving becomes a free agent.
The 2016 NBA champion has not had much success with the Brooklyn Nets during his three seasons there. He missed most of his debut campaign due to injury. He again sustained an injury during the 2021 NBA playoffs second-round loss to the Bucks, contributing to the team’s early exit.
Meanwhile, Irving was suspended for the first two months of last season for his anti-vaccination stance. That impacted the team’s chemistry. Despite a productive return, the Nets were not able to compete against the Boston Celtics in the first round during the 2022 playoffs, losing the tie 0-4.
Kyrie Irving could get a fresh start with a storied franchise like the LA Lakers. He would also get to play for the team his idol and mentor, the late Kobe Bryant, represented throughout his NBA career. Meanwhile, a reunion with LeBron James and a chance to form a big three alongside him and Anthony Davis could also be a factor.
The Lakers could be among the teams with the cap space to acquire a max player, making Irving to LA a legitimate prospect next season.