The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers were linked in trade discussions for Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving all offseason long. Irving had a player option this offseason, and he and the Nets had a very public contract negotiation, and part of that included Irving teasing the idea of signing with the Lakers for the $6 million mid-level exception. Some believe the exception rumors were to create leverage in his negotiations with the Nets. Ultimately Irving elected to return for the final year of his contract with the Nets, and the Lakers and Nets remained in trade talks for Irving.
Recently, the Nets and Irving were said to be back in a ‘good place,’ and the Nets are committed to moving forward with Irving. Just after the news of Irving’s return to Brooklyn, Durant and the Nets met and negotiated a return for Durant and him rescinding his trade request with the team.
While the Nets were able to find a way to keep Irving and Durant, it is still clear that Irving and LeBron James want to reunite together, and some believe that the superstar could land in Los Angeles next season. One NBA Insider even shared that the Lakers are seen to be clearing salary cap space for Irving next season.
Lakers Clearing Salary Cap Space for Kyrie Irving
NBA insider with Hoops Hype Mike Scotto shared on a Twitter spaces with @LateNightLakers shared reports that the Lakers could be clearing space to sign Irving next season.
“Although it seems very unlikely at this point that star guard Kyrie Irving will find himself with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2022-23 season, there’s seemingly still a chance that he’ll land with the franchise down the road.
“The Lakers seem interested in making that happen, and according to a recent report, the team is looking to keep cap space available next summer for when Irving becomes a free agent,” Scotto shared.
Irving and James have been very public with their desire to play with each other. If the Nets have a good season with Irving and Durant returning, then perhaps it will end the potential of Kyrie reuniting with LeBron in Hollywood. But if the Nets underachieve again this year, it is hard to imagine Irving wanting to run it back with the Nets organization, which was unwilling to sign him long-term.
Kyrie Irving on Teaming up with LeBron James
The news that Los Angeles could be preparing to make a play for Kyrie Irving in next year’s free agent class comes around the same time that Irving made headlines in an appearance on the unscripted series produced by James ‘The Shop.’ On the episode, Irving spoke about what it was like when James returned and teamed up with him in Cleveland.
“The greatest thing I would tell the youth is, superheroes need help,” Irving said. “The leader of the team doesn’t always have to take on the burden. And ‘Bron took on crazy burdens.”
Will the two superstars reunite in Tinseltown next season? This upcoming season will show a lot of the potential future for the two franchises.