If Kyrie Irving asks the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, he might end up in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. But it looks like the worst trade offer from the Los Angeles Lakers’ opponents in the arena is better than the one that would reunite Irving and LeBron James.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN says that the LA Clippers “had assets that the Nets could legitimately want” in a trade for Irving. The Clippers were also looking for a better point guard before the trade deadline.
The LA Clippers have been the team most interested in point guards in this trade deadline market. Because it would throw off their current balance, the Clippers might not want to sign Kyrie Irving.
But the Clippers do have some things that the Nets might want. They have players under contract and under their control who, if traded for, might be more interesting to the Nets than Russell Westbrook, whose contract is about to end. I don’t think the Lakers can really give him those since Kyrie Irving might be a rental.
Brian Windhorst Said la Clippers “Had Assets That the Nets Could Legitimately Want” in a Trade for Irving
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The real question is, “Do you see him as a player you need to try to pay for, or do you see him as someone you can rent?” People have been talking about the Lakers’ best offer for Kyrie Irving for months: Russell Westbrook’s contract is up for renewal, and the first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 are not protected.
Austin Reeves, a great sophomore who didn’t get picked in the draft, and Max Christie are two players that Los Angeles doesn’t want to trade for or let go after the trade deadline.
Rob Pelinka’s desire to keep one of those future first-round picks would definitely be a bigger sticking point for Brooklyn in trade talks with the Lakers. This desire could completely kill Irving’s trade with the purple and gold.
On the other hand, the Clippers have a lot of good rotation players with average salaries who could help the Nets keep Kevin Durant as a top player after Kyrie Irving leaves. They also have a number of young players who could be the backbone of the Brooklyn team in the long run. Would Sean Marks and the rest of his team be willing to trade Irving for Terrance Mann, Norman Powell, Luke Kennard, and Marcus Morris?
The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns Will Be Contacted in the Kyrie Irving Sweepstakes
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Giving up Mann, who has been doing well as Ty Lue’s de facto floor general in recent lineups without point guards, would be hard for LA to do, but owner Steve Ballmer is probably willing to pay a lot of luxury tax going forward after signing Kyrie Irving to a lucrative extension this summer. This might make it a little bit easier for LA to give up Mann.
Because Kyrie Irving has been unreliable in the past, the Clippers might not want to give him the four-year, max-level contract he wants. The Los Angeles Lakers share these worries, but they have shown over and over that they aren’t as sure as LA that they can rack up a big luxury tax bill, especially when the cost of doing so requires such valuable resources for future droughts.
Kyrie Irving has other possible suitors besides those in Southern California. Since the Dallas Mavericks let Jalen Brunson go in free agency and Luka Doncic has continued to play well, there is more pressure on them to make a move before the trade deadline.
In the Irving sweepstakes, the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns will be contacted. But if the Lakers and Clippers are the only two teams left, don’t be surprised if Kyrie Irving signs with the Clippers after February 9.