NBA free agency rumors are in full swing less than two weeks from the start of the moratorium on June 30th. With a loaded crop of free agents hitting the market this offseason and a number of the league’s big market teams having heaps of cap space.
The Nets and their two max salary slots have been at the forefront of rumors regarding Kyrie Irving and to a lesser extent, Kevin Durant. However, the Nets might be rethinking their free agent strategy which could open the door for Irving’s other free agent suitors – namely the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lakers’ Chances to Sign Kyrie Irving Set to Improve Drastically?
The New York Post reported that the Nets were having second thoughts on pursuing Kyrie Irving given the uncertainty around Kevin Durant. The Nets went out of their way to clear an extra max salary slot and were trying to land a pair of superstars – ideally Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, Durant’s injury could cause the Nets to play things a bit more conservatively in free agency.
With Irving seemingly out in Boston and Durant looking much more likely to stay in the Bay, few other free agent destinations offer the shot at a title on a reasonable timeline. Neither of the New York teams seems ready to make a run just yet – even with an elite talent and the Clippers have a strong core in place and are in need of a go-to star and can make a solid case as to be the best landing spot.
Although LeBron and Kyrie had a public breakup in Cleveland, Irving seems to have some different priorities these days and reuniting with his former running mate in LA on a new superteam could be the change that Irving craves.
Lakers Salary Cap Situation
All that said, the Lakers’ salary cap situation presents an interesting hurdle to overcome. While the Anthony Davis trade hasn’t gone through just yet, the Lakers would need to either push through a free agent signing before the trade is officially completed or shed some extra salary in order to clear out the remaining space.
Either way, should the Lakers find a way to make the financials work out in pursuing a max free agent like Irving, they won’t have much money to build the remainder of the roster. With Irving factored in, the Lakers would almost exclusively be signing players to minimum contracts (and the MLE).