Buy or Sell Latest Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, LA Lakers Rumors | Launderer’s report
0 out of 5
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It’s NBA rumor season, which means it’s also Kyrie Irving rumor season. For the past few years, he’s been a mainstay of reports, leaks and speculation about his future.
There were plenty like that noise before making his way out of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017. Ditto for his time with the Boston Celtics, a team whose fanbase received the following promise:
And now, after appearing in just 103 games in three seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, Irving could bounce back again.
Here’s a look at how much stock to put in with the latest rumors about his future.
1 out of 5
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The spirit of discontent seemed to be in the air long before this, but it was stirred up by a report from Shams Charania from Athletic and the Stadium on Monday.
“Multiple sources tell The Athletic that conversations about Irving’s future have stalled between him and the Nets,” Charania wrote. “There is currently an impasse between the parties that clears the way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open market, these sources said.”
Should he decline his player option and enter unrestricted free agency, Charania reported that the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks would be interested.
On Wednesday, three seasoned journalists joined the mix.
ESPN Brian Windhorst felt that the standoff could involve “saber rattling”. The idea of Irving taking a $25-30 million pay cut next season to play for one of the aforementioned teams is hard to take seriously.
Mark Stein added that Irving “has had recent contact with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, his former Cleveland teammate, to likely discuss a potential reunion in Hollywood,” but he also expressed skepticism about the implementation of such a decision.
“The expectation persists league-wide that the Nets will enter into some sort of new contract with Irving,” Stein wrote.
But that hasn’t alleviated any worries for the Nets, who could lose two stars if they can’t appease Kyrie.
“Kyrie Irving’s search to leverage his contract talks with the Brooklyn Nets won’t result in the threat of a $30 million pay cut to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the sum of the fears the depths of the franchise,” ESPN said. Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. “Irving is walking, and Kevin Durant wants a trade.”
If that happens, Brooklyn could end up with Ben Simmons, everything he gets back in a Durant trade (and a possible Irving sign and trade) and a whole bunch of questions just three years into this KD-Irving era. .
2 out of 5
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In terms of individual numbers, Kyrie Irving has enjoyed immense success in the five years since he left LeBron James to play for the Celtics. He averaged 25.5 points, 6.0 assists and 2.8 threes while shooting 40.5% from deep and posting a well-above-average 60.2 true shooting percentage and a 6.2 plus/minus box (11th in the NBA during this period).
Playoff success is a different story, however. After playing 52 playoff games in his three years with LeBron, Kyrie has only played 22 since leaving Cleveland. This season, his former Celtics teammates swept him out of the first round.
With half a decade of evidence to sift through, it’s safe to say that Irving was best served in the slightly smaller role he played as the Cavalier.
Its percentage of use during these last three years in Cleveland was not much lower than it has been in Boston and Brooklyn, but LeBron was clearly the main playmaker and leader of the team. If Irving had been more willing to accept that, the last five years could have turned out very differently.
In 2019 Kyrie admitted to call LeBron to apologize for his reaction to his former teammate’s leadership. In a more recent podcast appearance, he expressed regret for his lack of communication.
“I didn’t know how to share my emotions,” Kyrie said on I am an athlete. “I didn’t know how to do that. So instead of sharing, I isolated myself.”
If they had been on the same page, Irving thinks they “definitely, definitely would have won more championships.”
Five years after their split, Irving can now realize he’s done pretty well with one of the greatest players of all time. And although LeBron is now 37, his four-year averages of 27.0 points and 8.2 assists with the Lakers suggest he might have enough in the tank for one more run at a title.
He probably wouldn’t have to burn so many if he had a motivated Irving by his side.
3 out of 5
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The answer here may not be so simple. After all, it was Irving who did the rejection, and LeBron has since won a title with the Lakers.
But things came to a head for the Lakers after that 2020 championship run. After a first-round exit in 2021, they traded for Russell Westbrook and missed the playoffs entirely last season.
If the choice comes down to something as simple as “Russ or Kyrie,” LeBron should prefer the latter route, even with all of Irving’s potential baggage and availability issues.
There’s more to these numbers than just “who’s LeBron’s number 2?” The rest of the supporting casts with the Cavs matched better, but so did him and Kyrie.
Westbrook has spent more than a decade dominating most possessions for his teams. Expecting him to suddenly turn it off at the age of 33 was unrealistic, especially for someone with a notoriously unreliable outside shot.
Kyrie also needs the ball, but his range as a shooter makes him a better co-star for LeBron. Balancing their away games with the dominance of a hopefully healthy Anthony Davis on the inside would almost certainly put the Lakers back in title contention.
Making that happen wouldn’t be easy, though.
It’s hard to see why the Nets would want Westbrook back in a trade with Irving. So the Lakers might need to clear two terribly high hurdles: convince Irving to play for a massive discount (the $6.4 million taxpayer mid-tier exception) and find a taker for the $47.1 million salary. dollars from Westbrook.
If those hurdles can be overcome and LeBron believes some of Kyrie’s recent comments about their time together, he should definitely be interested in a reunion.
Verdict: Buy that LeBron wants to play with Kyrie. Sell that LA will be able to make it happen.
4 out of 5
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If Kyrie leaves the Nets, Kevin Durant will have to think long and hard before pushing for his own departure.
He and Irving were a forfeit for Brooklyn in 2019. If Irving leaves, KD will have to play with Ben Simmons and a bunch of roleplayers who couldn’t get him and Kyrie out of the first round.
Aside from what could come back in an Irving sign-and-trade, it’s hard to imagine the Durant-Simmons version of the Nets will fare much better next season. Recovering what’s left of his prime (KD turns 34 in September) and chasing a third title might require a move elsewhere.
As painful as it may be in the short term, Brooklyn could finally agree to land a massive booty for Durant if Irving leaves.
Despite the red flags above, a team would surely break the asset bank to land him. That would leave the Nets with a 26-year-old multi-time All-Star in Simmons and likely other young players and picks to rebuild.
5 out of 5
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These latest rumors sound like public negotiations.
Given all the absences and drama that has followed Kyrie since leaving Cleveland, it’s hard to imagine a robust trade market for him. That makes the unsubscribe and downgrade route his most likely path to another team, and even that seems like a long shot.
Instead, perhaps after more reporting and posturing from both sides, expect some sort of shorter-term deal with minimum gaming thresholds and other guarantees for the Nets.
At worst, Kyrie could take his $36.5 million player option, work to rehabilitate his worth this season, and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. If that motivates Irving to be on the court and engaged as much as possible, that path could be the best for the Nets’ 2022-23 prospects.
Durant may not have much time left on the ‘Most Player on a Title Team’ tier. Adding that third championship will likely be more difficult every season from now on.