Kyrie Irving rumors: Lakers and Knicks among five potential Nets All-Star destinations

Kyrie Irving may, without exaggeration, truly be the most complex commercial candidate in NBA history. This is not just a matter of risk vs. rewards. We’re talking about one of the most unpredictable players ever in the NBA. He vowed to stay with every team he left. He also pledged not to retire last season… How much confidence did the team gain in fulfilling its promise? Trading in Irving requires complete regulatory buying. You should do this on the understanding that he will miss matches due to injury, and he will miss matches for reasons other than injury as well. He will say strange things. It will make your coach’s life difficult.

He will make the biggest shots of your season. This is what makes finding a reasonable deal so difficult. Irving is the rare player who might be good enough to justify this kind of dysfunction, and the networks know it. Trading it will make them worse in court. It might even knock them out of competing for the championship. There is simply no way, given the risk it poses, that any team that acquires it will return the Nets’ fair value in any deal. Coming in, it would be a potential lose-lose situation for both parties involved.

In that sense, perhaps the networks should keep Irving. He has a player option of $36 million and somewhat limited leverage to force the trade with. The only teams with enough room to realistically pursue him in a free agency are so far from the championship image that he would never want to play with them in the first place. The Indiana Pacers will not sign Kyrie Irving this off season. He will probably stay with the nets for that reason. It cannot make its way to its preferred destination and they cannot trade it for their preferred package because its value has fallen so low that such a package probably does not exist.

But with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting that the two sides are deadlocked in contract negotiations, it’s worth exploring who might actually be able to strike a deal for Irving. The transaction may need to satisfy all or most of the following conditions to be feasible given the risks it may pose to all parties involved:

  • The destination must prove Irving’s acceptance. It’s simply not worth the headache if he doesn’t want to be somewhere.
  • The returned packet should at least keep Nets competitive at a distance. This isn’t a rebuilding business, and the networks need to make sure it doesn’t alienate Kevin Durant.
  • The networks can’t realistically accept any free agent for 2022 again in registration and circulation because it will lead to a strict cap it is almost certain to exceed. In this context, we’ll assume Irving selects and extends with his new team rather than his own signature and trading engineer to avoid this complication as the teams gain.

With these criteria in mind, here are the five teams that make the most sense for Irving.

The Nets won’t care about Russell Westbrook. Let’s get this out of the way now. Durant hinted (inadvertently) via social media that he does not want to continue playing for Westbrook after leaving Oklahoma City. Even if they were interested in a reunion, Westbrook is meaningless next to Ben Simmons. So we’ll bury the idea of ​​swapping Westbrook for Irving right now. If the Lakers get Kyrie, it will happen in one of two other ways.

The most likely path would be a three-team deal in which a third party would accept the expiration of Westbrook’s contract along with whatever meager value the Lakers could collect (their unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, Austin Reeves, and possibly Tallinn Horton Tucker) and send their assets Own to Brooklyn. Many of the usual Westbrook themes apply here. Maybe Indiana can send the Nets Malcolm Brugdon and Buddy Heald. Perhaps Charlotte is ditching a mix of Gordon Hayward, Terry Roser, Kelly Uber, and PJ Washington? Heck, there’s probably a bigger deal here related to John Wall and the Rockets. If the Lakers are willing to forgo multiple picks, they may be able to pressure the Rockets for role players like Eric Gordon (he is said to be on the block for a first-round position) and Jae’Sean Tate. Of these deals, Charlotte is probably the one that makes the most sense. Hayward is the closest thing a star Brooklyn can muster into this kind of deal, and the Hornets have the potential depth to send into the net. Of course, among the offers that networks are likely to get, this build is near the bottom.

The Lakers could instantly jump to the top of the list by introducing Anthony Davis. Just don’t expect them to do that. Irving and Davis are both injury prone, but Davis has more control on the team, is more reliable off the field, and is simply a better player. Perhaps the Nets could improve fate here with players like Seth Curry and Joe Harris, but they have no way of replacing the defense that the Lakers would lose at Davis without giving up on Ben Simmons as well. Will they do that? Mostly not. She’s probably funky in a multi-team build-up, but for now, there’s any hope the Lakers have of landing Irving already because of his interest in going to Los Angeles. They just won’t offer the best package.

The Clippers, like The Nets, can now seal a deal by offering their second star. Paul George-for-Kyrie Irving is an interesting build for both sides, as George would satisfy Brooklyn’s need for more perimeter defense and allow Simmons to play a full-time point guard, while Irving would immediately be the best guard on a team with a nearly infinite width of the wings. The Clippers family has spent years putting together those wings for a reason. They have a very clear philosophy on list building, and George’s trading with Irving doesn’t fit in with it. They would like to have Kyrie…but not at George’s expense.

But if the nets are open to building a “four quarters on the dollar” trade, the clippers can make a somewhat convincing proposition. A combination of Robert Covington, Marcus Morris and Norman Powell can give curling a suite of versatile wings to pair with Durant and Simmons. Terance Mann and Brandon Boston are both developing well, and young talent is something the Nets lack after giving up most of their assets in favor of James Harden. The Clippers could be tossed into the first unprotected round of 2028 for an extra dose of long-term upside. If Durant signs a package without a clear star, the Clippers could fortify the rest of Brooklyn’s entire roster. Meanwhile, they’ll have the top three in the NBA and plenty of depth left to back them up. Adding Irving and ditching Paul or Kawhi Leonard would make the Clippers the tournament favourite.

The Knicks have a bit of leverage here. It could be conceivable to empty enough of their average salary for the maximum teams to sign directly with Irving as a free agent. If they can convince the Nets that they have a way to do so, they may be able to convince Brooklyn to collaborate on a more acceptable deal. They will need it, because their own assets are not very attractive. Evan Fournier, Kimba Walker, and Nerlence Noel only got Irving if they tied up with a whole mountain of draft picks. Perhaps the networks could tip those choices elsewhere, but on the surface, this deal doesn’t do much for Brooklyn.

Will Brooklyn Julius Rundle be a superstar or something similar to one? He could have been a better fit before the Harden-for-Simmons trade-off, but even with his dip last season, he’s giving more than most of the big guys. It would have added the inner strength this team has been lacking since dealing with Garrett Allen. The nets should be fairly high on Randle for this kind of deal to make sense, but crazier things have happened. Remember, only one season ago, Randle made the second team in the NBA when no net could do it. The talent is here.

When Irving asked the Cavaliers for a deal in 2018, he said It said He had four teams on his wish list: the Knicks, the Spurs, the Timberwolves and the Heat. We’ve got the Knicks covered. Tottenham are out of contention. As fun as the D’Angelo Russell-Nets reunion might be, Brooklyn probably wouldn’t be excited about such a reduction. But Miami? There is nothing here.

Pat Riley fired a stealth shot at Tyler Herro’s defense when he stressed the importance of two-way players at his end of the season press conference. Irving isn’t great on defense, but it’s an upgrade for the hero, who is, at times, unplayable. He also fits Miami’s file on star hunting, and after a half-court attack against Boston, could provide the scoring lift they need to return to the Finals. There have long been rumors of his interest in playing Jimmy Butler.

Herro will be the primary little piece returning to Brooklyn, and despite his poor showing in the playoff, he won the Sixth Man of the Year for a reason and could one day develop into one of the NBA’s best guards. Kyle Lowry will likely join him as Brooklyn’s replacement bodyguard. The Heat also opened up more flexibility in the draft on the trade deadline by changing the protection on the pick that it owes to Oklahoma City. That might allow them to forgo a first-round pick or two to sweeten fate here. In real terms, it’s hard to imagine the Nets topping the Miami pack.

This is where we fully venture into the world of speculation. The Lakers, Clippers and Knicks have strong reports linked to them from Charania. Irving has been interested in the Heat in the past, has a well-known connection to Butler and fits in with his typical list-building philosophy. Phoenix doesn’t have any of these things. What they have is a 37-year-old goalkeeper who is nearing the end of his career.

Chris Paul was a marginal candidate for MVP during the regular season. Their first eight post-season games were impressive: 22.6 points, 9.9 assists, 58 percent shooting. And then, it all fell apart against Dallas. Maybe it was an injury. It may have been the COVID outbreak that the team reported. He may have gotten old. But the Suns peeked into their future against the Mavericks. Irving might be their only chance to swap Paul for a younger superstar, and that core will likely keep in contention for the foreseeable future even if DeAndre Ayton leaves.

Nets will trade one set of risks versus another set. Paul is considered a consummate professional, but at his age, there would never be a guarantee of his health. He would fit in nicely with Durant, who can play with just about anyone, and Simmons, who needs the ball quite a bit, which fits Paul perfectly when considering his shot. If Durant wants a star back to Irving, he’ll probably have to accept that he’ll be as risky a star as Paul’s return.

This is unlikely to be relevant. Paul is so important to Phoenix culture that he almost certainly won’t be on the table. But, as we said, this is an area of ​​speculation. There is logic to this type of deal on both sides even if neither of them is particularly eager to strike it.

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