Lakers Urged to Acquire 3-Time All-NBA Guard & Future Hall of Famer


Jun 24, 2022

The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to acquire a three-time All-NBA guard and future Hall of Famer this summer.In a June 22 column, Bill Oram of The Athletic wrote that the Lakers should add Kyrie Irving despite all the questions that come with the seven-time All-Star and one-time champion.“Would (Rob) Pelinka and the Lakers really welcome the guy who torpedoed Brooklyn’s season from the start of the season because he wouldn’t get a shot? Perhaps it proves some hypocrisy. But could the Lakers live with that? If it means adding a talent like Irving, of course they could,” Oram wrote. “Because even with all of his oddities, Irving is still really good. And having him on the floor some of the time is better than what they saw from 78 games of (Russell) Westbrook last season. This is triage. And while the addition of Irving would be accompanied by the possibility of spectacular, explosive failure — like we’ve seen in Brooklyn — that risk feels like a better option than another year spent hoping in vain that Westbrook can make a jump shot.”Irving is no longer a lock to return to the Brooklyn Nets. According to a June 20 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, conversations about Irving’s future have gone stale between him and the Nets. An impasse presently exists among the parties that clears the way for Uncle Drew to consider the open market and the Lakers are anticipated to be among the interested suitors if Irving leaves the Nets.Lakers Considered Team with ‘Most Interest’ in IrvingAccording to a June 24 report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers are considered the team with the “most interest” in Irving. The Duke product has a June 29 deadline on his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season. The Nets are reluctant to sign Irving to a long-term deal.“Part of this is a negotiation,” Wojnarowski said on Get Up. “He has wanted that long-term max deal in Brooklyn. It’s not available to him there. I think the one team with the most interest in Kyrie Irving are the Lakers. There’s really not a sign-and-trade scenario with Brooklyn that makes sense. Of course, if the Lakers wanted to offer Anthony Davis in a sign-and-trade, of course, the Nets would love that, but that’s not going to happen.“And so if you’re Kyrie Irving, your way to get to the Lakers, very likely, would be to opt-out of your contract next week and sign the $6 million exception that the Lakers would have available. Now, the difference between that and his opt-in with the Nets is over $30 million. They can clear cap space the next year. They would have Russell Westbrook potentially coming off their cap and sign him (Irving) to a more lucrative long-term deal if things work out.”Irving has a rapport with the Lakers’ two best players. He played three seasons with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers and was teammates with Anthony Davis on the 2014 FIBA World Cup Team.James and Irving played in three consecutive Finals in 2015, 2016 and 2017, winning the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors in seven epic games.Irving Has Had Contact with JamesAccording to a June 22 report from Marc Stein of Substack, Irving has had recent contact with James. Even though Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers in the summer of 2017 because he allegedly no longer wanted to play with James, Charania told Pat McAfee on the June 20 episode of “The Pat McAfee Show” that the two All-Stars still have a sound relationship.“Yeah, I mean, I think Kyrie said it openly as far as his public comments about LeBron and I think a lot has been made about their relationship, especially the way Kyrie Irving left the Cavaliers, the way that Kyrie Irving left the Cavs as far as asking out and ending up in Boston. There was a lot made about their relationship, but, you know, sources have told me that was never a fractured relationship,” Charania said. “It’s always been a dialogue that has existed between those two. And so that is of course gonna be a factor in all of this.”If Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with the Nets, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers, according to June 23 report from Wojnarowski.

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