$232 Million 8-Time All-Star Predicted to Join Lakers

Ja Morant, Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic

Getty Ja Morant, Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic

NBA legend Vince Carter believes an eight-time All-Star will join the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

Carter thinks Kyrie Irving will leave the Dallas Mavericks and sign with the Lakers to reunite with LeBron James.

“I look forward to seeing how this plays out,” Carter said on the February 20 episode of ESPN’s “Get Up.” “More than likely, we probably will see Kyrie in a Laker uniform because of this,” a reference to James drafting Irving to play on his All-Star team.

James and Irving did their old Cleveland Cavaliers handshake after LeBron selected Uncle Drew, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason after his four-year, $136 million contract expires. Irving will have made more than $232 million in his career once this season ends.

The Lakers tried to acquire Irving after the 30-year-old requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Los Angeles offered Brooklyn 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. The Nets wound up trading Irving to the Mavericks.

James and Anthony Davis were privately upset when they heard that Irving landed with the Mavericks, sources told Heavy Sports. The Lakers will pursue Irving this summer once free agency starts, per sources.

Vince Carter Isn’t the Only Person Who Thinks Kyrie Irving Will Be on the Lakers

Carter isn’t the only person who thinks Irving will be a Laker. Joe Vardon of The Athletic believes Irving will sign with the Lakers this summer. Vardon covered James and Irving in Cleveland from 2014-15 to 2016-17.

“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.”

James put up 25.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game alongside Irving in Cleveland, while Irving averaged 22.1 points and 5.3 assists next to James. The Cavaliers won the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors thanks to James and Irving.

Adrian Wojnarowski Believes Kyrie Irving Will Re-Sign With the Mavericks

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on the February 15 episode of “Get Up” that he feels Irving will likely re-sign with the Mavericks.

“I think it’s more likely than not Kyrie Irving stays in Dallas,” Wojnarowski said. “Just because of what they invested in him. And his chance to get the kind of contract he wants. … I think given what they gave up and Dallas’ track record of being willing to pay players who want to be there, I think it’s more likely than not Kyrie Irving is in Dallas. Of course, it can all change.”

Irving has career averages of 23.3 points and 5.7 assists with the Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Nets and Mavericks.

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