Kyrie Irving Wants To Play For Lakers, As LeBron James Contract Decision Looms

The Nets and Lakers recently held talks on a trade involving Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook, but it appears those talks are going nowhere — at least not for now.LeBron James Kyrie Irving

But one thing that’s not in doubt is Irving’s desire to play in LA, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN, via Real GM.

“Kyrie Irving absolutely wants to be a Los Angeles Laker,” Windhorst said. “This we know. The Lakers want Kyrie Irving. This we know. But making that happen, that’s a different story.

“We don’t really get a good feeling there’s any team seriously on the market for Kyrie right now beyond the Lakers. It’s doesn’t mean they don’t like him or value him, they just don’t want to pay a potential price the Nets are asking. This is one of those things where we just have to wait and see.”

Irving opted in to the final year of his contract, making a return to Brooklyn appear as if it were all set. But then Kevin Durant requested a trade, suddenly making the Nets’ immediate future extremely uncertain.

“I doubt Kyrie will be back (with the Nets), I think he’ll be on the Lakers, but I don’t know when it will happen,” Windhorst said, again adding that the Lakers seem to be the only team with a strong interest.

That fact gives LA some leverage, too.

“The Lakers are going to low-ball the Nets, and obviously that has happened so far, because they know they are bidding against themselves for the most part,” Windhorst said. “Most teams who have been mentioned in the Kyrie sweepstakes have run away from even being attached to it in rumors.”

Irving, of course, won a championship alongside current Lakers star LeBron James when they were teammates with the Cavaliers in 2016.

“The one thing that is a potential change agent here is LeBron James wants Kyrie Irving (with the Lakers),” Windhorst said. “It’s not because he wants Kyrie Irving because he’s the best teammate and his history, he wants Kyrie Irving because the Lakers can get him.

“He doesn’t have a whole lot of choice and he knows he has a contract extension situation coming up. That’s the change agent. If there’s no deal by early August when LeBron can extend, will LeBron use that as a leveraging point to force the Lakers? If I were the Nets, I would be hoping so.”

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