LeBron James Sends Message to Nets Star Kyrie Irving Amid Lakers Rumors

Kyrie Irving (left) and LeBron James

Getty Kyrie Irving (left) and LeBron James

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s name has become synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers during this offseason. Amid the trade negotiations for their franchise star Kevin Durant, the Nets had also entertained the idea of moving Irving, who played just 29 games last season because he chose to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, which was mandated for him to play home games.

Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in July that the Nets and Lakers had preliminary discussions on a deal that would send Kyrie to Los Angeles and Russell Westbrook to Brooklyn, but nothing materialized.

Though the Nets have chosen to move forward with Irving on the last year of the deal he signed in 2019, the Lakers are preparing to lure him to Los Angeles next summer.

During the “Late Night Lakers” Twitter space on August 31, NBA Insider Michael A. Scotto of HoopsHype said there is a “belief” that the Lakers are clearing cap space in preparation for 2023 when Irving will be a free agent. In any potential trades during the season, they will avoid taking back any long-term salary past this league year.

The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Nets!

LeBron Sounds off ‘Misunderstood’ Kyrie Irving

Irving going to the Lakers would reunite him with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. Kyrie was a guest on the latest episode of LeBron’s show “The Shop” where he discussed a myriad of topics.

Though the Lakers star does not appear on the episode, James was tuned in to watch the episode, as he had a lot to say about Irving’s appearance.

“He’s truly so misunderstood! I love seeing his growth as well throughout the years! Always believed and knew he was so much more and deeper than just a phenomenal basketball player,” James said on his Twitter on September 2.

This Season Is ‘Prove It’ Year for Kyrie

2023 is a prove-it year for Irving. Since joining the Nets in 2019, his availability has been sporadic at best, which has made teams reluctant about wanting him on their roster, especially long-term. When the Nets were floating Kyrie’s name in trades this offseason, multiple reports suggested that the Lakers were the only team interested in acquiring him.

Irving is one of the most talented players in the NBA, but as the old saying goes, the best ability is availability, and Irving has been anything but that for the Nets. Numerically he has missed more games than he has played, which has made the Nets hesitant to sign him to a long-term contract extension.

Now on an expiring contract, Irving will have to re-prove his worth to the franchise that welcomed him with open arms in 2019. Because if Irving misses a significant number of games this season and it is not due to injury, his potential new deal with the Nets could have several causes, or even worse, they could just let him walk in free agency.

But the Nets are returning with one of the most complete, top to bottom, rosters in the NBA this season. A deep playoff run in 2023 could mend fences between all the involved parties. Buckle up, Nets fans, this season is going to be a wild ride.

 READ NEXT: Nets Pushed To Hire Former All-Star Guard To Replace Steve Nash as Head Coach