More HoopsHype Rumors
February 5, 2023 | 4:17 am EST Update

Lakers pessimistic about landing Kyrie Irving

Changes could be coming — the trade deadline is Thursday. But after a day of rampant speculation, there’s pessimism that the Lakers will swing a deal for Kyrie Irving, because of the star Brooklyn point guard’s contract demands in free agency this summer, sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly told The Times.

LeBron James amid Kyrie Irving trade rumors: 'I don't speak for our front office'

LeBron went his typical route and deflected the question toward the Lakers’ front office, then threw in a comment that made his true feelings apparent. “That’s a (Rob Pelinka) question,” said LeBron when asked if Irving could make the Lakers a contender. “I don’t speak for our front office. My mindset is whatever lineup or whatever group we have, is to make sure we prepare ourselves the best way we can to go out and win. “Obviously, that’s a … ‘Duh’ question when you talk about a player like that.”

Kyrie Irving prepared to sit out the rest of the season

At the end of the day, the Nets don’t have to trade him if they don’t find anything worthwhile in return. As of writing, they still hold a top four seed in the East with Kevin Durant’s return from injury just around the corner. But according to Stephen A. Smith on a recent episode of NBA Countdown, his sources have indicated that Kyrie Irving could go full tilt on his demand by sitting out the season if he isn’t moved. “Kyrie Irving is prepared to sit out the rest of the season if need be,” said Smith. “That’s what I’m being told. I don’t know whether I believe that, but that’s what people are saying.”
The LA Clippers have not only been scouring the trade deadline market for an upgrade at point guard, but also “have assets that the Nets actually might want” in a potential trade for Irving, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “The LA Clippers have been the team that has been leading the pursuit of point guards in this trade deadline market. I think that the Clippers would be skeptical of going for Kyrie Irving and upsetting the balance that they have. Having said that, the Clippers have assets that the Nets actually might want. They have players under contract, under control that if you traded, that might actually get the Nets more interested than an expiring Russell Westbrook contract. Because I don’t think that the Lakers can honestly give those [future first-round picks] for Kyrie Irving if he’s a possible rental. And that’s really the issue here is, do you value him as a rental or do you value him as a player you have to try and pay?”

Cam Thomas on Kyrie Irving: 'He's one of the few guys who I really consider a brother in basketball'

Erik Slater: Cam Thomas on Kyrie Irving’s trade request: “Everyone was surprised, but that’s not my business. That’s still my brother at the end of the day. He’s one of the few guys who I really consider a brother in basketball. Just a big brother who I can look up to and ask anything to.”