The Lakers considered the “most significant threat” to Kyrie Irving if she left the Nets, according to the report

With Kyrie Irving’s future with the Brooklyn Nets looking uncertain, other teams are starting to go round and round. As it stands, the Los Angeles Lakers are considered the “most significant threat” to land Irving if he leaves Brooklyn. according to Adrian Wojnarowski. However, Irving’s landing in Los Angeles would require him to substantially reduce his salary – about $ 30 million.

Irving has a $ 36 million player option for the 2022-23 season. To join the Lakers, Irving would have to decline and then sign a $ 6 million tax exemption with the Lakers, as that’s the most the Lakers could offer him with their roster as currently built. Irving is extremely fickle, so it’s hard to predict exactly what he’ll do, but it seems extremely unlikely he’s willing to lose that much money. Also, joining the Lakers would require Irving to step away from Kevin Durant, which he swore he wouldn’t do earlier this year.

As unlikely as it may seem, there is at least some substance behind the speculation between Irving and Los Angeles, as Irving had recent contact with Lakers forward LeBron James, according to Marc Stein. James and Irving played together for three seasons in Cleveland and memorably won the 2016 NBA title after returning from 3-1 trailing to defeat the Golden State Warriors.

From Stein:

There are credible rumors circulating that Irving actually had some recent contact with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, his former Cleveland teammate, to begin with, presumably to discuss a potential reunion in Hollywood. I was told it would be a stretch, though, to suggest that the Lakers are currently chasing Irving. They do not possess the commercial resources to realistically involve Brooklyn in Irving’s commercial talks even as he exercises his player option for next season.

Also: The Lakers, as things currently stand, could not offer Irving more than the mid-tier exception for teams paying taxes for next season if Irving bypasses his player option to opt for free will. That MLE, he reminds him, tops out at an expected $ 6.39 million. Irving’s idea of ​​rejecting his player option and essentially playing for $ 30 million less in Los Angeles, even after the more than $ 15 million he voluntarily sacrificed last season by rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine and skipping the top 35 matches of the season, he just doesn’t. Doesn’t seem plausible.

It is worth insisting that Irving is extremely unlikely to land in Los Angeles given the financial data. Ultimately, it seems far more likely that he will accept a new long-term deal with Brooklyn, or perhaps elsewhere. The Lakers simply don’t seem to have the hat space or resources to land the star guard. However, crazier things have happened in the NBA and Irving is unpredictable, so it’s not something that can be written off completely.

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