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The LA Lakers considered trading for the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving

The Nets’ point guard like his team has endured a difficult season. With reports suggesting he could have moved to LA, would that have helped his cause?

Paul Rudder
Kyrie Irving en un partido de los Brooklyn Nets.
Nathaniel S. ButlerGetty

Just how close were the Lakers to getting the gang back together again? It seems we will never know.

The problem with the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving

The 2021-22 NBA season was most definitely a year of ups and downs for Kyrie Irving. Having spent the majority of the campaign at home, it was not until close to the post season when the star point guard finally began to participate in games with his team. As was widely reported, Irving was barred from playing in the Nets’ home games due to the New York City vaccine mandate. The scenario then in turn led to the franchise taking the decision to not permit him to play as a part-time player, which subsequently led to Irving having to contemplate what was best for his future. Indeed, Irving explained recently that he worried at times that he would be traded.

“It was only the journey to enjoy at that point, because I was sitting at home and — I don’t even want to say sitting at home, I was wondering at home what my future was going to look like, you know? Whether I was going to be traded, whether I was going to be released, whether I was going to get the opportunity to be on another team, how I was going to spin this for myself in a positive way,” Irving said.

The Los Angeles Lakers almost traded for Kyrie Irving

What is certain is that Irving was not traded by the Nets as he was in fact playing when they crashed out of the playoffs in the first round courtesy of a sweep by the Philadelphia 76ers. What is not certain, however, is just how close other teams around the league came to a move for Irving and more over who they are, until now. That’s right, one team that came close according to reports was none other than the Los Angeles Lakers. It should be said that while the Lakers considered a move for Irving, what we don’t know is exactly what consensus they reached.

Conversely, a deal would probably not have materialized even if an official approach were made largely because the Lakers had nothing with which to negotiate. Of course there are the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but one can rest assured that neither player’s name would have been mentioned in any potential deal with the pair essentially being ‘hands off’ commodities. Some may also point to Russell Westbrook, the Lakers much criticized point guard, but given Kevin Durant and James Harden’s past experiences playing with Westbrook, it’s unlikely that such a move would have got any traction. Aside from the aforementioned trio there is also the issue with salary. Quite simply Irving’s salary demands would have placed him outside of the realm of possibility.

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James back together again?

Given the magic that James and Irving created during their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, one can only guess at the kind of scenarios that the Lakers front office and team for that matter could have been imagining when envisioning the pair playing together one again. In terms of strategic thinking, it’s understood that the idea was to provide James and the team with a secondary ball-handler who could take some of the pressure off of James when it comes to shot creation for other players. Regardless of where one stands on Irving and the problems that arose as a result of his vaccine stance, shot creation at championship level is something he can most definitely do. In the end, none of it matters as Westbrook will likely be traded and Irving is on course to sign a contract extension with the Nets, but it’s nice to imagine the possibilities.


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