Over the past two days, Kyrie Irving has become the hottest name in basketball with the start of free agency around the corner. Following reports that the All-Star guard and Brooklyn Nets are at an impasse in contract discussions, Irving may go elsewhere in free agency.
Ahead of the NBA Draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported that Kyrie Irving has given the Nets a list of teams he’d like them to consider for a possible sign-and-trade. Among those mentioned were the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers.
Multiple analysts have weighed in on where Kyrie Irving should end up, and the Lakers continue to be the most common answer. Along with LA needing a major shakeup after missing the postseason, Irving has connections there with LeBron James.
During a recent appearance on ESPN, Max Kellerman dove into why Kyrie Irving should want to join the Lakers and reunite with LeBron.
“Along with LeBron and AD, you have every single thing you need to win a championship. Plus, LeBron gives you the keys to the franchise, ‘this is gonna be yours.'”
Kyrie Irving should considering options outside of Lakers
Max Kellerman makes some valid points, but an argument can be made that Kyrie Irving would be better off going somewhere other than the Lakers. The main reason why he shouldn’t have his sights set there is that a deal between these teams seems unlikely.
As a star-level talent, Irving is going to command a sizeable deal. For the Lakers to make a deal work financially, Brooklyn would have to take back Russell Westbrook and his massive deal. Between his dip in production and previous history with Kevin Durant, the Nets are unlikely to take what the Lakers have to offer.
While Irving would instantly turn the Lakers into a title contender, there are still some question marks. Not only is LeBron James getting up there in age, but Anthony Davis has struggled to stay on the court.
Instead of joining the Lakers, Irving should have his sights set on the other team in LA. With Kawhi Leonard coming back fully healthy, he and Paul George will be ready to make some noise in the Western Conference. Adding Irving to their All-Star duo would give the Clippers arguably the best big three in the league. The Clippers also have the assets to work out a sign-and-trade that would entice Brooklyn.
The idea of playing alongside LeBron might be inticing to Irving, but he should still strongly consider all of his options heading into this summer.