The Los Angeles Lakers might be the most prominent name being discussed in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes, but they’re not the only franchise touching base with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who spoke on a February 4 episode of NBA Countdown, the LA Clippers have also registered their interest in the mercurial guard.
“Since Irving’s trade demand yesterday, the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Suns, have been engaged with the Brooklyn Nets. But another team has emerged today, and that’s the Los Angeles Clippers. And they’ve joined the pursuit of a Kyrie Irving deal, they’ve been in the market for a point guard. You’ve got those four and others,” Wojnarowski said.
Irving, 30, has been an impactful member of the Nets roster this season, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 48.6% from the field, 37.4% from deep, and 88.3% from the charity stripe.
Lakers Unwilling To Trade Austin Reaves
While the Lakers are certainly in the mix to land Irving via trade, it would appear that they have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to parting ways with some of their younger players.
According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, both Austin Reaves and Max Christie are considered to be ‘untouchable’ in a deal for the veteran guard, as the Lakers aim to retain some future trade assets.
“Given Irving’s on-court pedigree and play this season, the Lakers would almost certainly have to include both first-round picks. Protecting one of those picks could result in the Nets asking for the Lakers to perhaps include Austin Reaves or Max Christie, two of the Lakers’ promising young role players. But the Lakers aren’t interested in including either in a potential package, according to those sources,” Buha reported.
Assuming the Lakers were to utilize their two future first-round draft picks to acquire Irving, both Reaves, and Christie would be viewed as potential trade chips further down the line.
Reaves has played 36 games for the Lakers this season, providing them with 10.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2 assists per game while shooting 48.8% from the field, and 36% from deep.
Framework For A Potential Irving Trade Has Been Revealed
According to Marc J. Spears, who was speaking on an episode of ESPN’S NBA Today and was transcribed by Bleacher Report, there is a belief that Irving’s trade value around the league is currently at its lowest ever point – and that could allow a team to obtain him without giving up the farm.
“I’ve been speaking to six different general managers today, and four of them said that Kyrie had little value, that they thought that maybe they could get some expiring contracts or some role players for him. Of the teams that they mention that could have interest, there was Dallas, Lakers, Miami and even the Chicago Bulls,” Spears said.