The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged not to acquire a seven-time All-Star and one-time champion this summer.
In a June 20 column, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times wrote that it would be “super stupid” if the Lakers traded for Kyrie Irving, who is no longer a slot to return to the Brooklyn Nets.
According to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic on June 20, talks about Irving’s future have stalled between him and the Nets. There is currently a deadlock between the parties paving the way for Irving to consider the open market and the Lakers are expected to be one of the interested candidates if the Duke product leaves the Nets.
Although Irving is one of the best players in the NBA, Plaschke believes the Lakers would be making a mistake by acting for him.
“The Lakers need to ask themselves: Is this a player who can not only turn a low-ranking team into a championship contender in the next two years, but also lead it into the next era after James retires? is a resounding no,” Plaschke wrote. “Right now, Irving is seen as one of the most selfishly misguided players in all professional sports, and that’s saying something. When he walked on the Nets in January 2021 because of his sore throat, the uprising, he was filmed at a party.Although he missed numerous games last season due to the vaccine mandate, he would seemingly taunt his teammates by appearing in the stands.
“The Lakers don’t need that. Their new coach, Darvin Ham, doesn’t need that. Their disillusioned fans don’t need that. They don’t have a championship team as they are put together, but Irving isn’t going to change that in the short term and his presence would do irreparable damage in the long run.”
Irving has a June 29 deadline for his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season. The three-time All-NBA guard has only appeared in 29 games in 2021-22 since he didn’t make his season debut until January. Irving refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine and the Nets made a joint decision not to let Uncle Drew be a part-time player to start the season, but changed their stance in January.
Plaschke: It wouldn’t be smart to trade concept picks for Irving
According to Charania, Irving should probably pick up his 2022-23 player option and request a trade from the Lakers, who can’t sign the point guard as a free agent or acquire him through a sign-and-trade deal because of their cap. situation.
Plaschke, who covers the Lakers for the LA Times, doesn’t think it would be smart for the Lakers to relinquish future draft picks for Irving, who has played just 103 regular-season games with the Nets.
“Unless Irving is willing to cancel his Nets contract, become a free agent, and take a historically large pay cut to come here for a one-year average exception that would cut his salary by at least $25 million, the only way he can join the Lakers through an exchange,” Plaschke wrote. “This trade requires dispatch of (Russell) Westbrook – which is good – but also first round draft picks in 2027 and 2029, which is bad. Those draft picks are the only assets the Lakers possess in hopes of future hapless stars to their team. Hello, Luka Doncic?
“If the Lakers give up on that choice, it’d be better for a young star who can guarantee them a title now or really carry them into the future. That’s not Irving.”
How could Lakers get Irving if they don’t listen to Plaschke?
In his column for The Athletic, Charania describes how the Lakers were able to trade for Irving, who played three seasons with LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The duo won the 2016 Golden State Warriors Championship.
“For the Lakers, the likely path to taking over Irving — and reuniting him with LeBron James — is that Irving chooses to facilitate a trade because the Lakers can’t realistically free up the cap space to sign him themselves. , and a sign-and-trade would activate the hard cap, making acquiring Irving significantly more difficult,” Charania wrote. “If Irving were to choose, Lakers CEO Rob Pelinka would have to comply with wage-matching rules in the collective bargaining agreement. Nets and/or a third team in a legal transaction.”
James and Irving played together in 183 regular-season games for the Cavaliers. They went 132-51 in the regular season and 39-13 in the playoffs.
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