Wednesday, May 31 2023

For the second offseason in a row, many are speculating that Kyrie Irving wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers and that they may actually try to land him. In addition, there is also speculation that LeBron James is pushing for that to happen.

Some feel his comment on Monday night that suggested he’s considering retirement is nothing more than a ploy to pressure L.A. to trade for Irving at all costs.

Acquiring him would be risky in more ways than one, and the most obvious reason is the depth the Lakers would have to jettison to get him, either in a sign-and-trade or by signing him outright as a free agent. However, Irving would obviously give them tons of star power that could push them over the top.

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report proposed a hypothetical trade package that just could work if Irving does indeed turn down a new contract with the Dallas Mavericks and forces his way to the Purple and Gold.

The hypothetical proposal

Here is the package Bailey proposed:

Via Bleacher Report:


For starters, he pointed out that it would “take a lot of convincing,” as Irving, Russell and Hachimura will all be free agents this summer.

In addition, the Mavs would have to be persuaded to take such a package. Russell and Hachimura could give them ample offensive firepower next to Luka Doncic, as well as a capable ball-handling, facilitating guard who can get hot in Russell. But they wouldn’t make them a contender.

That 2029 first-round pick could potentially be a very high one, depending on what happens with the Lakers the rest of the decade.

One would have to assume that Mavs owner Mark Cuban would play hardball with L.A. and try to make it give up the farm for Irving.


The pros

Irving is a fantastic player, and his skills are nearly second-to-none. He is one of the best one-on-one scorers in the game off the dribble, and he is considered by many to be the best ball-handler ever. His ability to split traps and double-teams is something to behold.

The New Jersey native averaged 27.1 points and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 49.4 percent overall and 37.9 percent from 3-point range this season.

He would give James a scoring and facilitating partner who is on his level, which would take lots of pressure off the 38-year-old and greatly reduce his workload. Of course, the two won an NBA championship together in 2016 as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers, so they definitely already know how to thrive alongside each other.


The cons

No matter the method, acquiring Irving would be very risky for the Lakers.

First of all, in any scenario, they would be left without depth, as well as the tools to go out and easily replenish their depth according to salary cap rules.

Even if they were to retain Austin Reaves on a new deal, losing Hachimura would greatly weaken their bench, and he would be difficult to replace. They would be forced to fill out their roster with the type of over-the-hill players in their mid-to-late 30s they had last season when they missed the play-in tournament.

Irving, just like James and Anthony Davis, is somewhat injury-prone. He hasn’t played in over 70 games since the 2016-17 season, and there would be the possibility that two of the three stars would have to miss games for an extended stretch. If that happened, the Lakers would be in trouble because of a lack of depth.


In addition, Irving is infamously flaky and enigmatic. What if he gets involved in another odd off-the-court incident or simply decides to stop playing basketball for a little while, just as he did early in the 2020-21 season when he sat out seven straight games?

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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