Whereas Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets find themselves at an impasse, rumors of the point guard leaving are in full swing. The Lakers, Clippers and Knicks are apparently ready to take a chance if he is actually available. And of those three teams, the Clippers stand out as the most plausible lead.
Towards a transfer of Kyrie Irving?
Irving’s situation at the Nets remains very unclear. It is not yet known exactly what is blocking the two camps from signing a new contract or an extension. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the franchise would like to offer a short-term contract with conditions, while the player would ask for a long-term commitment.
Maybe this could lead them to break up, but it is also possible that this rumor is just a way to pressure the opposing camp in the negotiations. Rival teams can still prepare for the eventuality that the leader is put on the market.
Since arriving in Brooklyn, the player has averaged 27.1 points, 6 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, 49% shooting and 40.6% three-pointers. It will be very difficult for the front office to replace such a contribution with a trade or a signature. The GM Sean Marks will therefore do its best to keep Irving or compensate for his loss.
The player has until June 29 to activate his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-2023 season. Given the salary situation of the two Los Angeles franchises, they will have to go through a transfer to recover it. It would also suit New York. Such a scenario would involve the Nets star activating his option, which he likely will.
If there is a departure, a trade thus appears to be the most credible option. And if there is a trade, the Clippers are clearly the most logical partner.
The Lakers and the Knicks, two unlikely leads
The Lakers, a destination fantasized by many fans, will have great difficulty recovering Irving. First, they will absolutely have to part with Russell Westbrook in this transaction. And since the Nets will probably not agree to trade Irving for the former MVP, their only solution may well be an all-in with their draft rounds. The Lakers have little chance of convincing Brooklyn whatever they do and this transfer seems highly unlikely.
Kyrie Irving, the Lakers’ only chance on this file
The Knicks are already a more credible option. If Kyrie Irving were to leave through free agency, it would be the only one of the three teams to be able to sign him directly. However, this would require some gymnastics in which they would have to part with a few players. They also have many contracts to offer in a trade. Julius Randle (23.8M), Evan Fournier (18M), Alec Burks (10M), Nerlens Noel (9.2M), Kemba Walker (9.2M), Cam Reddish 5.9M) are possible assets.
The New York franchise does not have the status of contender of the Los Angeles teams either. Although the player is particularly fond of the city, their sporting situation remains a significant disadvantage. And despite their many assets, they could hardly compete with the potential offer of the Clippers.
The Clippers, the best of the three options
Next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul GeorgeIrving could have the opportunity to win a second title under Tyronn Lue. The former champion remains attached to the coach of the 2016 Cavaliers and could be seduced by the idea of finding him. It’s not hard to see why he might be interested in this destination.
For their part, the Clippers have long sought a star point guard to accompany their two wingers. Reggie Jackson has proven to be an excellent ball carrier, but the prospect of signing a player of Irving’s caliber might change their minds. They are in any case interested if we are to believe Shams Charania.
Above all, the franchise has many options for setting up a trade. Norman Powell (16.8M), Marcus Morris (16.4M), Luke Kennard (14.4M), Robert Covington (12.3M), Reggie Jackson (11.2M) and Terance Mann (1.9M) have contracts that are easy to transfer and useful for Brooklyn. They are in a great position if the Nets are truly open to a trade.
Covington could, for example, energize the team’s defense, while Powell would add size and Jackson could become the new ball carrier of the workforce. Mann is also an interesting piece if the Clippers are willing to trade him. With all these contracts, it is also possible to imagine Joe Harris, Patty Mills Where Seth Curry head towards Los Angeles. The range of possibilities is wide, there is room for negotiation.
The position of the Clippers makes it by far the most plausible destination, among the three teams mentioned, for Kyrie Irving. The franchise has the ideal sporting and financial flexibility to develop a trade. Now remains to be seen if the leader is really available and how far Los Angeles is willing to go to secure his services.
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