The Los Angeles Lakers‘ hopes of landing Kyrie Irving took a significant blow on July 25, when The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the superstar guard intends to remain with the Brooklyn Nets for the coming season.
Speaking on an episode of the Pat McAfee Show, Charania noted how he believes Irving will remain with the Nets for the final year of his contract.
“Kyrie Irving opted in with the full intent of playing out next season as a Brooklyn Net. From everything that I’ve been told, in his mind, he’s playing next year in Brooklyn – with or without Kevin Durant. Irving opted in, there was an understanding that he was going to make the best decision for himself, and Durant will be making his decision as well. From everything I’ve been told, Kyrie Irving has made his intent, he wants to play out next season in Brooklyn and be an unrestricted free agent next summer,” Charania told McAfee on July 25.
This update will come as a hammer blow to the Lakers, who have spent the majority of the past month exploring ways to entice the Nets into trading away their superstar guard.
Westbrook Could Stay in Los Angeles
With Irving potentially off the table, the Lakers may be forced to run it back with Russell Westbrook next season, despite both parties making noise about a possible divorce since the off-season began.
While Westbrook hasn’t openly spoken about wanting out of the Lakers, he has made moves that have indicated his preferences, such as firing his longtime agent Thad Foucher due to disagreements over whether Westbrook should remain in Los Angeles or not.
“Now, with a possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the marketplace is telling the Lakers they must add additional value with Russell in any trade scenario. And even then, such a trade may require Russell to immediately move on from the new team via buyout…Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best,” Foucher wrote in a press release via ESPN.
Westbrook was a shadow of his usual self last season, averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 29.8% from deep.