Nets fans booed Kyrie Irving when he was put up on the jumbotron at Barclays Center before the game Friday night (Irving was out vs. the Wizards).
Irving requested a trade out of Brooklyn before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, and the Nets are talking to several teams about a potential deal, with the Lakers, Suns and Mavericks at the front of the line. This trade could come together in the next few days, allowing the teams involved to make other moves before next Thursday’s deadline.
Here are the latest Kyrie Irving trade rumors:
• The Los Angeles Clippers have thrown their hat in the ring and made an offer for Irving, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and confirmed by Law Murray of The Athletic.
Sources tell @TheAthletic that the LA Clippers have made a strong offer to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving, and that head coach Tyronn Lue is open to coaching Irving again after the two won a championship with Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
— Law Murray 💔 (@LawMurrayTheNU) February 5, 2023
There is pressure from ownership on down for the Clippers to win big this season — the team’s fourth with Kwahi Leonard and Paul George — and they need help at the point guard spot (they are interested in the Raptors’ Fred VanVleet if he becomes available as well). The Clippers have a lot of salaries between $10 million and $20 million — Norman Powell, Marcus Morris, Luke Kennard, Robert Covington, Reggie Jackson, Nicholas Batum — who can be packaged in different configurations, plus they have young talent that can be added in Terance Mann and Brandon Boston Jr. The report suggests the Clippers would want to send out John Wall, Kennard, Covington and Jackson, the Nets likely as for a better package.
Bringing in Irving would be a massive gamble by the Clippers — do they need another mercurial star prone to missing games? — but the Clippers are desperate to win and will push all their chips into the middle.
• LeBron James was asked after the Lakers’ loss Saturday night if Irving is the kind of player that can get the Lakers to the finish line and have them thinking championship.
LeBron James on if Kyrie Irving is the type of player that can help the Lakers get to the finish line: pic.twitter.com/EAbcLtcPjB
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 5, 2023
“Obviously that’s, the word you use, ‘duh’ question when talking about a player like that.”
• Whatever you think of Irving the person, his trade demand is a smart business move — the Nets were not going to give him the max contract extension he wants, so he is trying to force his way to his next team, one that will pay up. And by pay up, that’s a four-year, $198.5 million contract. Wojnarowski of ESPN said this on NBA Countdown Saturday.
“Irving, who is in the final year of a deal that pays him $36.9 million, has been seeking in the neighborhood of a four-year, $198.5 million maximum extension available to him until June 30, sources said. If Irving is traded, he is eligible to sign a two-year, $78.6 million extension with his new team until June 30.”
Any team that trades for Irving will have to pay up this summer when he is a free agent — he’s too expensive to be a rental. There are reports the Lakers and Mavericks are hesitant to give Irving that kind of long-term deal.
• If Irving doesn’t get traded before the deadline, he could hold out for the rest of the season, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reports. That fits with the Nets leaking they are going to hold him out until the trade deadline. Bottom like, Irving has played his last game in a Nets uniform.