Rumors of Kiri Irving: Lakers, Knicks who are interested in All-Star since contract talks with networks hit deadlock, for report

Kyrie Irving has indicated that she would prefer to stay in Brooklyn with the Nets at every turn. “There is no way I can leave my man seven [Kevin Durant] everywhere, ”he said said in March. When the Nets were eliminated from the Boston Celtics playoffs, Irving repeated his plans. “I’m not really planning on going anywhere,” he told the press when the Brooklyn season ended. But as the free agency moves closer and closer, it is becoming less likely that Irving will stay with the team he signed with the last time he had freedom of movement in 2019.

Talks with the contract between Irving and the networks have hit a dead end and this has forced Irving to consider other possible destinations, according to the athletic. Irving has a player option that he can use to become a free agent in July, and that gives him a significant leverage with the Nets in terms of landing with a preferred destination. According to Shams Charania, the Lakers, Clippers and Knicks would be interested in Irving if he became available.

The Knicks are probably the most important team involved in these procedures, because unlike the Lakers and the Clippers, they have at least some plausible ways to limit space. While the Knicks are roughly on the CAP line for next season, they have a number of reasonably moving salaries that they could throw away by attaching draft capital. Charania nominates Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kemba Walker as candidates. This is so important because none of the high-capacity teams are expected to be a contender next season. If the Nets only had to compete with teams like the Magic and Pacers, they probably wouldn’t have to worry. But the alternative in New York is a real threat. If the networks do not cooperate in sending Irving to the destination of their choice in trade, he may threaten to simply go to the Knicks for nothing.

The Lakers and Clippers can’t create the cap space needed to sign Irving outright, but both would certainly be interested in adding Star Point security through trading. Such a trade would rely on Irving to choose $ 36.3 million for his deal last year, because the signing and trading deals create a hard line on the luxury tax apron that neither team is equipped to handle. . Then Irving will probably negotiate an extension from there.

The Lakers will probably have to build their package around Russell Westbrook as a corresponding salary in such a deal. Westbrook also has a player option this season and will cost more than $ 47 million when he inevitably takes it. Brooklyn’s interest in Westbrook is likely to be weak. The Nets already have a bad scorer in Ben Simmons with whom they will have to build an attack. In all likelihood, the Nets would prefer to send Westbrook to the third team. What the networks should be interested in in concluding such a deal will be the two unprotected first-round choices that the Lakers may offer deep into the future in 2027 and 2029. By this time, LeBron James will be in his 40s years and these elections can be quite valuable. James and Irving won the championship together in Cleveland and may enjoy the opportunity to reunite.

The Clippers have a similar relationship with Irving through head coach Tai Lou, who has worked with both Irving and James in Cleveland since winning the title in 2016. Unlike the Lakers, the Clippers have only one choice in the first round (2028). Their payroll ballast is much more enjoyable, as he is attached to valuable role players such as Norman Powell, Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson, unlike Westbrook. As Charania points out, the Clippers have young players like Terrance Mann and Brandon Boston to throw themselves into a possible deal. Paying Irving wouldn’t be much of a problem for Steve Ballmer, who has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the roster next season.

If Irving really leaves Brooklyn, the Nets could easily be knocked out of the championship. With three superstars on the ball, Brooklyn may soon be the only one left.

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