The Kyrie Irving saga somehow continues to get more and more interesting. Prior to exercising the player option on his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, there was a lot of chatter that he would consider declining the option and signing a much smaller deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. It was then revealed that Irving was committed to finishing his commitment to the Nets.
Just like that, it appeared that the Irving to Los Angeles rumors would be tabled until next offseason. However, that’s not the case at all. Now superstar teammate Kevin Durant has requested a trade and it looks like neither of them will be in Brooklyn next season. The Lakers remain squarely involved in the Irving sweepstakes as he’s interested in reuniting with LeBron James.
Irving has been having his fair share of fun online during this whole process, tweeting out cryptic messages and calling out the media. With the latest rumors, the seven-time All-Star couldn’t stay quiet. He decided to post a GIF of a bird being let out of a cage.
This tweet is particularly interesting as it could imply that Irving has already been set free or he’s hoping to be set free. If a trade to the Lakers has been agreed upon, that news will break quickly. If not, Irving is most likely expressing his desire to be set free.
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Irving ‘Forcing’ His Way to Lakers?
Irving grew up in New Jersey as a fan of the Nets when they still called the state home. He wanted to be a Net and was able to bring along Durant with him, who is a close friend. However, it’s clear that things didn’t go according to plan. If the myriad reports are to be believed, Irving wants to be in Los Angeles now. According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the guard is not being subtle about his desire to move West.
“Kyrie Irving is telling everyone he plans go to L.A., meaning the Lakers, as soon as he possibly can,” Smith said. “The likelihood is he’ll have to go through this season and then when he becomes a free agent after this season is over he plans on rejoining LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. They’ll have about $70-80 million under the cap. They’ll use it on Kyrie Irving — or so he believes.”
Durant Trade Has to Happen First
Irving has to be considered a toxic asset for the Nets at this point. He clearly wants to be in Los Angeles and is on an expiring contract. He’s also capable of being a massive headache for a team he doesn’t want to play for. In the end, the Nets might need to accept Russell Westbrook and a draft pick in a deal with the Lakers.
That said, Brooklyn is going to take care of more pressing matters first. The team wants to figure out what they’re doing with Durant before they even touch the Irving situation, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
It appears that the Lakers could still have a chance at Irving but they are just going to have to remain patient.