Lakers Widely Viewed As Kyrie Irving’s Next Destination

Everything is pointing toward the Lakers being Kyrie Irving‘s next destination, either via trade or if he leaves the Nets as a free agent next summer, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.Kyrie Irving

Irving has been linked to the Lakers since the end of the season, as the Nets reportedly have discussed a trade involving Irving and Russell Westbrook. It seems, however, the Nets are not interested in Westbrook and his expiring contract of $44-plus million.

Irving opted in to the final year of his contract, though will become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he is not given an extension. In a move that may or may not be related, Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Nets a few days after Irving exercised his option.

As for an Irving trade, the Nets want “draft compensation” in any deal with the Lakers involving Westbrook, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line.

“League sources maintain that the Nets are A) focused on trying to assemble a palatable Kevin Durant trade before proceeding to Irving scenarios and B) adamant in their resistance to taking back Westbrook in a theoretical Irving swap without, for starters, some first-round draft compensation added by the Lakers,” Stein wrote.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski last month said that the Lakers are continuing their search for a Westbrook trade. It’s expected to be an ongoing process, too.

“I think the Lakers will make a deal, maybe more than one deal,” Wojnarowski said on GetUP. “It may not be for Kyrie Irving, it may not be for an All-NBA player, an All-Star… It’s not completely dead with Brooklyn… I don’t think the Lakers are done.”

In a separate segment, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he envisioned Irving with the Lakers as soon as the coming season.

“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.”

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