Lakers Optimistic About Adding Kyrie Irving?

The Nets appear to be the favorite to land Kyrie Irving, but other teams still hold out hope that they can sign the point guard. The Lakers remain optimistic that they could sign Irving, a source close to LeBron James told Sam Amick of The Athletic prior to the Anthony Davis deal.

For months, Irving has expressed a desire to play alongside Davis, sources tell David Aldridge of The Athletic. While the Lakers intend to bring in a third star, adding to the Davis-James pairing, it’s unclear where Irving ranks in the franchise’s preferred signings.

Kemba Walker is reportedly the top target. Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are other options, though both could be hard to pry from their incumbent team (and in Leonard’s case, the Lakers appear to be trailing the Clippers if he does depart Toronto).

Inking one of those players to a full max deal will be a challenge for the Lakers. The franchise is projected to have between $23.6MM and 27.7MM in cap space depending on whether Davis waives his trade bonus. If the team finds a taker for Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga (could be the Pelicans in revised Davis deal), the Lakers are looking at upwards of $29.4MM in room. The starting salary on a max deal for players like Irving or Walker is $32.7MM.

A path to opening up the amount needed to offer a full max deal involves the Lakers signing a free agent with cap space and then waiting until July 30 to officially complete the Davis trade. That would allow Los Angeles to aggregate the No. 4 pick’s salary in the Davis deal and operate as an over-the-cap team. Such a strategy would bring the Lakers roughly $32.5MM in room, assuming Davis waives his trade bonus. The figure remains slightly short of the max for this tier of players, though Los Angeles could make additional moves to get all the way there.

Brooklyn will have no issue offering Irving a full max deal. The Hornets possess Walker’s Bird rights and can offer him a super-max deal that tops out around $221MM in total value. Butler believes he’s getting a full max no matter which team signs him and the Raptors will hand Leonard whatever contract he wants should the Finals MVP decide to remain in the North.

The Lakers have an attractive situation for a star on the market. They can offer a title contender in one of the league’s premier markets and depending on Rob Pelinka‘s salary cap gymnastics, they may have to hope a star believes the situation is worth forgoing potential earnings.

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29 thoughts on “Lakers Optimistic About Adding Kyrie Irving?

  1. I’m amazed the Lakers didn’t require that the Pels deal not be finalized until July 30th, and that AD waive his trade kicker. The first would cost the Pels some cap space, but not a lot, and likely without consequence. Maybe they did, and it’s just not been reported.

  2. kylewait89

    I just want to know who if coming there knowing that it’s too heavy and not much else. AD, LeBron, Kuzma and….?

    I mean the Warriors were top heavy but they even ran about 7 deep. No team with 3 legitimate pieces in playing for a title. So who is honestly going to give up money to come there? Kemba said he’d take less….from Charlotte. Kyrie has no reason to take less than a max being that he has a title in his pocket. Kawhi? No. Jimmy Butler? Maybe though he has a clearer road through philly than he does LA.

    • bowserhound

      Ask the LeBron era Heat and Cavs how that went. Veterans flocked for cheap deals to get a ring.

  3. tharrie0820

    Could the Pelicans possibly get some more compensation out of the Lakers to wait until July 30th to finalize the trade? Seems like they have all the leverage here

  4. imindless

    Lakers arent getting rid of wagner and bonga they are 2 controllable young assets and are relatively cheap.

    • kylewait89

      Assets imply they have value. Players that are two years away from being two years away. If you’ve paid attention to any LeBron team, none of those players stick.

      • imindless

        They are cheap assets and bodies. Both good passer and young you dont give them away, lakers have no bench right now….

          • victorg

            you are 100 percent correct LeBron has no interest in young guys who could develop into players to replace him or his buddies. so yes bonga is 100 percent gone probably for a heavily protected #1.

            • deano

              No one is giving The Lakers a #1 for Bonga! Why? And if you traded him, you are only freeing up $500,000 in cap space. His only value is adding to the NOLA deal to extend the trade date. But I have a hard time believing that extended date wasn’t included already. It’s pretty important for Lakes. I say no other star….bring in PBev, DGreen, Seth, JaVale, Bullock, Muscala, and maybe Gay will come to chase a ring. Keep Caruso, and 4 min levels

              • slund24

                The extended date is no way included in the deal. New Orleans is shopping the 4th pick and no team that would trade for it would take it along with the extended date where their new draft pick would either miss summer league or play for the Lakers as the drafting team in summer league. I dont think 23 million gets you all those FAs you mention.

            • x%sure

              Victorg- 100% wrong in your ascribed motvation for James (you don’t usually win with rooks) and the value of Bonga.

  5. Guest617

    lakers realize the health issues? getting into a rhythm everyone needs their maintenance day is a recipe for disaster – flipping the switch doesn’t work. then when lebron gets mad it’ll be a circus show. im a fan!!

  6. nentwigs

    Kyrie Irving would consider coming to LA if the “Lakers” didn’t have such a meaningless name. If they sent it back to Minnesota where it belongs and where they ACTUALLY HAVE LAKES, perhaps Irving would come play for the LA “Stars” or something like that.

  7. joeyrocafella

    Kyrie is willing to tuck his tail between his legs and play with LeBron again after he said he wanted to lead his own team when they both played for the Cavs? Maybe he realized he’s not the “hot shhhh” that he thought he was?

  8. hoosierhysteria

    No way…kyrie says I should have shot more….even when he was 6-22…no lesson learned in Cleveland. He is done shining LBJ shoes.

  9. x%sure

    I would be unhappy to see James & Irving reconvene in LA. I would hope for cheap shots during CLE/LAL games. Irving had a plan, he should stick to it. The Nets fit that plan.

  10. joparx

    I get that the lakers would benefit from him waiving that trade kicker, but why would AD do it, regardless of who trades what where at when, what benefit does AD have to just give up 4 million? I can’t see really anyone on planet earth just giving that up

    • hockeynick97

      I mean technically, the Lakers could offer a signing bonus to make that up if/when they extend him, if that were an issue. But he’s going to get a max deal when he re-signs anyway. He may just see it as a small cost to be competitive…a slow play of sorts.

    • deano

      The benefit is the extra money might get him an extra teammate who isn’t a stiff. Personal opinion is it’s sort of disingenuous to “ask” for a trade and then insist you get the kicker. The kicker is there for player protection so as to discourage a team to trade him.

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