Lakers Predicted to Sign $233 Million 8-Time All-Star

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been predicted to sign a $233 million eight-time All-Star this summer.

An NBA executive told Heavy insider Steve Bulpett that he thinks the Lakers will “figure out a way” to pay Kyrie Irving and “bring him in.” The Dallas Mavericks point guard becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

“The interesting thing about that is they really did feel they made some progress with the trades,” the exec told Bulpett. “But how much of this do they really think will be solid going forward? I think we all know what they’re going to TRY to do this summer, but it’ll be tough. The fly in that ointment is what does Kyrie decide to do? And how do the Lakers get Kyrie money and get him there to see if they can’t go with the superteam troika? How do they pay for that? They’ve got to look at this as, ‘OK, how many years does LeBron have and how many years can they actually keep Anthony Davis engaged?’ Because AD ain’t got any great love for this game. So their window is a short one. Do they go after the superteam piece and figure out how to bring Kyrie in there? You know damn well Kyrie is not coming in for a discount.

“So do you stay the course and stick with D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell) and Rui (Hachimura) and all of that group and say, ‘OK, let’s play with the two stars and try and have some reasonable depth?’ I predict that they’ll try to figure out a way to pay Kyrie Irving and bring him in.”

Irving has been heavily linked to the Lakers since he played with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 to 2016-17. Los Angeles tried to acquire Irving after the Duke product requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. General manager Rob Pelinka offered the Nets a package of Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 for Irving, according to a February 5 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Brooklyn, though, wound up trading Irving to the Mavericks, who went 8-12 with Kyrie in the lineup and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament. Irving finished the 2022-23 season with averages of 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 60 games with the Nets and Mavericks.

Bleacher Report: The Lakers Should Target Kyrie Irving

In an April 20 piece called “Lakers’ Early 2023 Free-Agent Targets,” Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report wrote that Irving is a player the Lakers should target this summer.

“There have been whispers about the Lakers perhaps cooling on the idea of adding Kyrie Irving, but it’s hard to believe that’s a consensus opinion within the franchise,” Buckley wrote. “L.A. knows as well as anyone that stars win biggest in this league. And if it managed to lure Irving to town to team with his old championship running mate LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers would immediately have one of the best Big Threes in basketball. That core would admittedly have an uncomfortable amount of injury risk, and spending mega money on Irving could decimate the depth behind the Lakers’ stars. It still might be worth it given the immense amount of talent between these three. Irving is essentially a turbo-charged version of D’Angelo Russell. If the Lakers land Irving, they would immediately scratch itches for more ball-handling, shot-making, shot-creation and floor-spacing.”

Irving has made over $233 million in his career. He’s played for the Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Nets and Mavericks.

1 Beat Writer Thinks Kyrie Irving Will Be on the Lakers Next Season

Joe Vardon of The Athletic believes Irving will be on the Lakers next season. Vardon covered James and Irving on the Cavaliers when the two All-Stars were teammates.

“I believe Irving will be a Laker next season,” Vardon wrote on February 9. “How’s that for a juxtaposition? Irving wants a four- or five-year contract, for the maximum money allowed. If he and the Mavericks reach agreement, it could be a five-year, $273 million deal. But Irving said he didn’t want to engage in negotiations now. ‘The business aspect of this is ruthless,’ he said. The Lakers can’t quite get to the four-year, $210 million max deal he would be eligible for outside of Dallas, but they can pay him north of $30 million per year. The teams with the cap space to pay Irving what he wants, outside of Dallas, are the Pistons, Magic, Pacers, Blazers and Spurs. They are all either rebuilding or, in Portland’s case, have a smaller, ball-dominant guard in Damian Lillard. In other words, getting that max deal outside of the Mavericks may not be possible.

“Enter the Lakers. James has made clear he wants to reunite with Irving. As partners in Cleveland, they won the 2016 NBA Finals, reached two others and were an otherwise dominant, unstoppable duo on offense. They have obviously patched up their differences that led to Irving demanding a trade away from LeBron in Cleveland in the summer of 2017. Irving’s apology helped.”

Irving, 31, has career averages of 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

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