The Los Angeles Lakers faced Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks for the first time since the trade deadline on Sunday. Los Angeles fell into a big hole early, were able to battle back and pull off a huge win to significantly help the team’s chances of moving up the Western Conference standings.
Los Angeles really made a push for Kyrie Irving at the deadline but it did not appear that the Brooklyn Nets were negotiating in good faith. Ultimately, Brooklyn ended up making a trade with Dallas to pair Irving alongside Luka Doncic.
Irving is a free agent after the 2022-23 season and with so many previous ties to the Lakers, some fans have not given up on the Kyrie dream. However, the latest intel from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is not promising for this dream.
Money seems to be the driving factor for Irving this offseason and Dallas is a team that can pay Irving a max contract this summer.
"“‘Kyrie’s goal in pushing out of Brooklyn was to get his rights with a team willing to pay him,” one source said. “Dallas is where he’ll want to be.'”"
NBA rumors: Lakers can’t compete financially with Mavericks.
If money truly is the thing that Kyrie Irving is chasing this summer then Lakers fans should accept the reality that he will not be coming to LA. The only way for Irving to come to LA is if he wanted to come and used his superstar leverage in order to make it happen.
Unless Irving was willing to take a massive pay cut, the only way LA could bring Irving in would be via sign-and-trade. However, even then, Irving would not make max money as the Lakers would be hard-capped with a sign-and-trade. Paying Irving max money would not allow the team to fill out the roster with the hard cap.
While this is a bummer, it is probably best for the long-term outlook of the franchise. Irving has not been the model superstar and has not been reliable. Plus, guards typically don’t age very well in the NBA, especially when athleticism is such a core component of what makes Irving great.
LeBron James is probably leaving to join Bronny James after the 2023-24 season anyway. And if he leaves, Davis may leave as well. If that happens, the Lakers would be saddled with an unhappy Irving.
So any Lakers fans that might be holding onto a Kyrie Irving dream should swiftly come back to reality. Los Angeles likely cannot make it happen and it is probably better if they don’t.