Kyrie Irving or D’Angelo Russell? The Lakers may wind up chasing whichever free agent point guard doesn’t sign with the Nets, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Rumors have had Irving headed to Brooklyn for a few weeks, but there were rumblings recently that the Nets’ front office isn’t sold on Irving without Kevin Durant.
If Brooklyn adds Irving, that means Russell, a restricted free agent, will likely be renounced. If Irving goes elsewhere, the Nets are expected to work out a new deal with Russell. Either way, that puts a talented guard on the market for the Lakers, who are looking for someone to pair in a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell had a checkered history during the two years he spent in L.A., but Nick Young is gone, along with the other former teammates he feuded with.
Irving has championship experience and has played with LeBron before. However, at 27, he’s four year’s older than Russell and probably much more expensive. He won’t take less than a max deal, while Pincus suggests the Lakers may be able to land Russell for about $80MM over four seasons.
There’s also a sense that Irving is more difficult to handle, with a rival executive telling Pincus, “They’re both divas, but Irving takes it to another level. Russell may be high-maintenance, but he’s no Kyrie.”
- The Lakers are trying to convince the Hawks to become part of the Davis trade, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said on Sports Center (video clip tweeted by Lakers Outsider). Lakers GM Rob Pelinka wants to open more cap room by sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to Atlanta in a three-team deal. The Hawks agreed to a trade with New Orleans for the No. 4 pick on draft night, so it’s possible those moves will turn into a single transaction.
- L.A. sent $2.2MM to the Magic for the rights to the rights to the 46th pick, McMenamin tweets. They used that selection to take Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker.
- The Lakers received permission from the Warriors today to talk to assistant coach Ron Adams, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. There’s no indication that Adams is interested in leaving Golden State, but L.A. could change his mind by making a large offer.