Kyrie Irving’s situation may stretch throughout this offseason, but what if she could also stretch throughout the season and into next summer as well?
The Lakers and Nets are at an impasse over trade talks for Kyrie Irving. For more than a month, the Lakers have been linked to Kyrie either through his wild adventures in potentially opting out of his contract or through trade talks since the start of free agency.
But if you were hoping that eventually the talks would stop at some point this summer, well, it might not! Regardless of what this offseason holds for Kyrie and the Lakers, it looks like the pair will eventually find a way to reunite, potentially as late as next summer.
According to Jovan Buha of AthleticismKyrie is targeting Los Angeles next summer if he doesn’t land with the Lakers this offseason.
There is little data in the NBA, so I would be hesitant to label it as such. But everything indicates that the Lakers are Irving’s first destination if he leaves Brooklyn, whether through a trade by the February 2023 deadline, or in free agency next summer, when Westbrook’s salary will be removed from the Lakers’ books.
In theory, this would be great news for the Lakers going forward. However, even if Kyrie would like to come to Los Angeles, financially the Lakers will probably have no way to make it possible.
With only Anthony Davis and Max Christie guaranteed to be under contract next year, it would be fair to expect that if Kyrie comes along it’s because LeBron is under contract. And if LeBron is under contract at $47 million north, that’s already nearly $100 million in salary and leaves Kyrie no wiggle room. Obviously, there are ways around this, but you’re already talking about another headache in a year.
And if you feel a little dread in there, then you are observant. Kyrie is one of the most talented point guards of all time. The thought of more than a year of haggling to land him on the Lakers seems exhausting. But if it gives the team a long-term title, it will be worth it. And that’s the math the Lakers need to do moving forward.
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