Kyrie Irving Sends Strong Message on Lakers Rumors: Report

LeBron James Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving attempted to clear the air with LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are once again in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes for the second time in a week. Kevin Durant’s trade request opens up the door for the Brooklyn Nets to also move Irving.

Trade or no trade, Irving is already making plans to be with the Lakers, per ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. The analyst reported on the June 30 edition of “NBA Today” that Irving is even open to signing with the Lakers as a free agent in 2023.

“He [Durant] wants to be in Phoenix and Kyrie Irving is telling everybody he plans on going to LA, meaning the Lakers, as soon as he possibly can,” Smith said. “The likelihood is that you’ll have to go through this season, and then when he becomes a free agent after this upcoming season is over, he plans on rejoining LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. They’ll have about $70 to $80 million under the cap. They’re going to use it on Kyrie Irving, or so Kyrie Irving has been convinced to believe.”

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NBA Cap Strategist: ‘This Gives the Lakers Their Best Chance at Kyrie’

Zach Lowe could see the Nets trading Kyrie Irving to the Lakers | NBA TodayZach Lowe and Tim Legler discus the trade market for Kyrie Irving, with Lowe explaining why the Brooklyn Nets should consider sending Kyrie to the Los Angeles Lakers for Russell Westbrook. ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+: 📱Get the ESPN App: 🏀 Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: ☑️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube:…2022-06-30T21:47:52Z

Irving going to the Lakers could happen even sooner, but general manager Rob Pelinka would need to get creative. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Irving’s joining the Lakers “becomes realistic again” as a result of Durant’s trade request. The sticking point appears to be Russell Westbrook. The Nets have not shown an interest in taking back the Lakers point guard in a deal.

“Despite Irving’s recommitment to Brooklyn, league sources continued to whisper about Irving’s mutual desire to reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles this week,” Fischer wrote June 30. “For that to happen anytime soon, the Lakers would likely need to find a third or even fourth team that would be willing to absorb Russell Westbrook’s $47.1 million salary and still find players to compensate Brooklyn for Irving. Now, perhaps Irving could find a way to Los Angeles, while the Nets explore every option on their roster.

“‘This gives the Lakers their best chance at Kyrie,’ one team cap strategist said.”

Kyrie Wants to Wear Kobe’s Jersey Number

🤯🚨 THE LAKERS could trade for BOTH 🚨🤯 Brian Windhorst with the QUOTE of the year | NBA TodayNBA Today reacts to Brian Windhorst revealing the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially have a package to trade for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a blockbuster trade deal. ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: ✔️…2022-06-30T21:53:32Z

Irving could play another season with the Nets before targeting the Lakers in 2023, but Los Angeles might not have that same luxury. James is eligible to sign a contract extension this offseason, and without a new deal the superstar can become a free agent in 2023. There is a sense of urgency in Los Angeles to build a contending roster in hopes of getting a long-term commitment from James.

The Lakers’ preference is likely to have James sign a new contract this summer rather than risk losing the NBA legend for nothing next offseason. Smith added that Irving is already planning to attempt to wear Kobe Bryant’s jersey number.

“So we look at all of these different things, and it comes down to this, he’s [Irving] been telling people he wants to be in LA,” Smith remarked. “He’s been telling people he wants to wear the same uniform that Kobe Bryant once wore, and if you’re LeBron James, you don’t mind that after what you had to deal with yesterday.”

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