In a matter of only days, the Kyrie Irving-to-LA buzz has increased in intensity tenfold. Monday was when the first report of the Lakers being interested in Kyrie came about, and by Thursday, the situation escalated to Irving reportedly considering the Lakers as a trade option.
Ultimately, nothing has changed between the Nets and Kyrie as the game of chicken between the two continues. But as the deadline for a Kyrie decision nears, the speculation and pressure is growing and Kyrie is reportedly considering a number of options, including a sign-and-trade.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving has a list of teams that he would like the Nets to consider if the two sides can’t agree to a deal, one that includes the Lakers.
Those are teams who Irving has interest in, but he isn’t necessarily a priority for all of them, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
First of all, the follow-up tweet from Woj is an all-timer and pretty accurately depicts the situation. While Irving is a top player on the court, all the drama that has come to surround him in recent years means he’s hardly worth the headache to some franchises.
The Lakers, though, don’t appear to be one of those franchises as their interest in him apparently remains high. What also remains, though, is the complication that will come with acquiring Irving. If Kyrie opts into his contract and seeks a sign-and-trade, it would still be mighty difficult for the Lakers to acquire him, even if it’s slightly more realistic than the idea of him turning down $30 million to take the taxpayer mid-level exception.
There is no one-for-one deal to be made between the Lakers and Nets for Kyrie. The only perceivable route would be some sort of three-team deal where the Lakers offer a team long-term financial flexibility, that team sends players to the Nets and Brooklyn sends the Lakers Kyrie.
But there are so many hoops to jump through to get to that stage that it’s still remarkably hard to see that as a plausible outcome. That being said, it was remarkably hard seeing any of this becoming a possibility a week ago and look at where we are now.