All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on February 3. The announcement has shaken up the league ahead of the February 9 NBA trade deadline. Irving is still one of the most talented players in the league and could change the fortunes of almost any NBA team for the better.
After the Nets star’s trade request was made public, his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate and Los Angeles Lakers star, LeBron James, took to Twitter and seemingly reacted to the Blockbuster news.
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LeBron James ‘Adamant’About Kyrie Irving Reunion
LeBron and Kyrie have an extensive history together. After James left the Miami Heat to join the Cavs in 2015, he and Irving reached three consecutive NBA Finals together and won the lone title of Irving’s career in 2016. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in 2017, Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers that summer, and it was granted. The following August, he got traded to the Boston Celtics.
Now things have come full circle with Kyrie demanding another trade and LeBron apparently interested in a reunion with his former co-star. In August, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that James is “adamant” about the Lakers making a deal to land Kyrie.
“Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic,” Buha writes.
“There was a belief among some that James might refrain from signing the extension quickly as a leverage play. James could’ve twisted the Lakers’ proverbial arm, applying pressure to make a trade, similar to the way he has operated in the past. Instead, he committed for at least the next two seasons, regardless of if the Lakers trade Russell Westbrook or how they fare this season.”
Lakers Listed Among Kyrie Irving’s Potential Suitors
Despite the off the court drama he often comes with, Irving remains one of the most talented players in the NBA. His 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game this season earned him a starting position on the 2023 Eastern Conference All-Star Roster. He could make almost any team in the NBA a legit title contender, and most will be salivating at the opportunity to add him to their roster.
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski says the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks are among the teams expected to pursue the Nets star.
“The Lakers and Mavericks have previously expressed trade interest in Irving and plan to talk with the Nets in the coming days, but both teams are privately expressing limitations on offering significant trade assets for Irving,” Wojnarowski said.
“The Suns have an ambitious new owner, Mat Ishbia, who is about to be approved in the coming days, and a roster that could offer Brooklyn the best scenario for a combination of players and picks in a potential deal. Lakers’ LeBron James has been an advocate of reuniting with Irving in L.A., and it’s unclear if the Lakers would make available their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in a potential trade. Dallas’ general manager, Nico Harrison, has a long-standing relationship with Irving from his days as a Nike executive, and coach Jason Kidd has also had a relationship with Irving.”
If the Nets are going to trade Irving, they don’t have much time to do so, with the trade deadline less than a week away.