Former (and possibly future) Lakers trade target Kyrie Irving is, for the second time in less than a year, seeking a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple media reports on Friday.
Irving and his agent/stepmom have been publicly agitating for an extension with the Nets for weeks, and given that it sounds like the Nets were for some reason unwilling to commit to a player even though he’s gone like, four whole weeks without tweeting anything antisemitic or refusing to get a vaccine, he is now reportedly telling them to trade him or he'll leave in free agency:
Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
There were some talks on a new deal for Irving, but no deal was reached and a trade request was delivered to the organization today, sources tell ESPN. Irving can leave the franchise this summer as a free agent. https://t.co/vnNWbUW56S— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
The Nets recently offered Kyrie Irving an extension with guarantee stipulations, sources tell @ShamsCharania.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 3, 2023
Sources said the offer, which was declined, was not well received.https://t.co/kl8qKvhg7p
Veteran NBA insider Marc Stein reportedly shortly afterward that the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers are expected to talk with the Nets about a deal for Irving:
The Lakers and Mavericks are among the teams Brooklyn is expected to engage in Kyrie Irving trade talks as next Thursday's 3 PM ET trade deadline approaches, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 3, 2023
More NBA from me: https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq
Shams Charania of The Athletic added the Suns to that mix:
The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have emerged as potential suitors for Brooklyn Nets All-Star starter Kyrie Irving, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
For what it’s worth, last time the Mavericks were linked to Kyrie, a member of the organization texted Tim MacMahon of ESPN a “profane reply” when asked about their interest. ESPN confirmed on Friday that Irving is still interested in going to Los Angeles, and that the Mavs and Lakers both have some level of reluctant interest:
ESPN Sources: Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
Reporting with @espn_macmahon: The Mavericks have had previous interest on Kyrie Irving and are expected to explore idea with Nets ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. Like most teams, the Mavericks have had had a reluctance to make significant offers of assets for Irving.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
Brian Windhorst on the Lakers interest in Kyrie: “They’ve been interested, but they’re not so sure about trading for him and giving him a 200 million dollar contract at season’s end.”— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) February 3, 2023
Kyrie Irving is extension eligible up until June 30 with Brooklyn.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 3, 2023
If he is traded and amends the 15% trade bonus, he is not allowed to extend with his new team.
The maximum on an extension is 2 years/$78.6M with a new team but only if Brooklyn pays him the trade kicker.
How hard will Los Angeles chase World B. Flat this time? The two sides were engaged over the summer, but the last we heard on it, the Lakers were proudly patting themselves on the back anonymously for not offering him a long-term deal last summer in the wake of his infamous tweet promoting an antisemitic documentary.
But Kyrie has played better since then, and the Lakers under Rob Pelinka have a long history of interest in players with a wide variety of off-court issues. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that Irving is a proud Kobe Bryant disciple, something Pelinka — Bryant’s former agent and best friend — has seemed to value in transactions.
And if you trade assets for Kyrie Irving, you have to extend him to make it worthwhile. But what’s the right price on that considering his history in CLE/BOS/BKN? Could you sign him to cap space outright in the summer without giving up picks now? https://t.co/xg8lpMhFA9— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 3, 2023
LeBron talking about his "love" for Kyrie a few months back: https://t.co/alHdqF0Sv6— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) February 3, 2023
That’s all why it seemed like more a matter of “when” than “if” before we heard definitive reports that the Lakers were involved here.
Thankfully Feb. 9 is only a few days away, but by the sound of this, we all need to fasten our seatbelts until then. And for some context on Irving’s situation from Matt Brooks of Nets Daily, check out the tweets below.
The Nets are also playing with fire engaging in a leverage game with Irving, who to his credit, has done a great job keeping Brooklyn afloat as it plays without KD.— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) February 3, 2023
The whole thing just sucks.
Lastly, I feel awful for Kevin Durant. He's been super committed to the franchise this year despite being pretty frustrated with them in the offseason and has played his ass off.— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) February 3, 2023
This breaking news story will update with more information and analysis as it continues to develop.