If the Lakers have a realistic chance to land Kyrie Irving, they should brush aside any concerns about his reliability and make the move, argues Bill Oram of The Athletic. L.A. has been mentioned as a potential destination for Irving if his contract talks with the Nets remain at an impasse. While that could be a negotiating ploy from Irving’s camp, there was a report Wednesday that he has spoken to LeBron James about teaming up again.
Oram believes head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka should jump at the chance to add Irving, who could spark a quick turnaround for an L.A. team that missed the playoffs this season. Oram admits there’s a “buyer beware” component to Irving, who has only played 93 total games in his three seasons with the Nets because of injuries, a commitment to social causes and his stand against vaccine mandates, but he says the Lakers can’t afford to pass on his talent.
There’s more on the Lakers:
- In an appearance Wednesday on NBA Today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski called the Lakers “the most significant threat” to sign Irving if he opts out of his current contract and becomes a free agent (video link). However, L.A. would be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception, which is projected at $6.39MM, and there are questions about whether Irving – even as unpredictable as he is – would accept such a drastic pay cut. A more realistic option could be a three-team trade, and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report looks at scenarios involving the Lakers, Nets and Thunder.
- L.A. is among a handful of teams entering today’s draft without a pick, but its recent success in developing unheralded players provides confidence that it can still find help in this year’s rookie class, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Austin Reaves was the latest example, but the Lakers have also been successful with Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Mason Jones.
- Derrick Williams and Darren Collison were the most prominent names at a Lakers’ mini-camp on Tuesday, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Justin Tillman, Craig Randall II, Sindarius Thornwell, Olivier Sarr, Antonio Blakeney and Jaylen Adams were among the other players on hand.