The Kyrie Irving situation may be drawn out throughout this offseason, but what if it could also draw out throughout the season and into next summer as well?
The Lakers and Nets are at an impasse with trade discussions for Kyrie Irving. For more than a month, the Lakers have been linked to Kyrie either through his wild adventures in potentially opting out of his contract or via trade discussions since the start of free agency.
But if your hope was that eventually, the discussions would stop at some point this summer, well, that may not be the case! Regardless of what this offseason has in store for Kyrie and the Lakers, it seems like the pair will eventually find a way to get together, potentially as late as next summer.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Kyrie’s sights are set on Los Angeles next summer if he doesn’t land with the Lakers this offseason.
There are few givens in the NBA, so I would hesitate to label it as such. But all indications are that the Lakers are Irving’s top destination if he leaves Brooklyn, whether it’s via a trade between now and the February 2023 trade deadline, or in free agency next summer, when Westbrook’s salary will be off the Lakers’ books.
In theory, this would be great news for the Lakers in the future. However, as much as Kyrie would like to come to Los Angeles, financially, the Lakers likely aren’t going to have a way to make that possible.
While only Anthony Davis and Max Christie are guaranteed to be under contract next year, it’d be fair to expect that if Kyrie is coming, it’s because LeBron is under contract. And if LeBron is under contract at north $47 million, that’s nearly $100 million in salary already and leaves no cap room for Kyrie. Obviously, there are ways around this but you’re already talking about another headache in a year’s time.
And if you’re sensing a bit of dread in this, then you’re observant. Kyrie is one of the most talented point guards of all-time. The idea of over a year of haggling to land him on the Lakers feels exhausting. But if it gets the team a title in the long run, it’ll all be worth it. And that’s the calculation the Lakers have to make moving forward.