It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in stealing seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets during 2023 free agency. In July, Chris B. Haynes, formerly of Yahoo Sports, reported that the Nets and Lakers had preliminary conversations on a blockbuster trade that would have swapped Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving, reuniting Kevin Durant and LeBron James with their old teammates. However, the talks never advanced past the beginning stages.
After failing to agree with the Nets on the terms of a max contract extension, Kyrie will be an unrestricted free agent in July, which will allow him to go to any team of his choosing without having to be traded. The Lakers are expected to be in hot pursuit of the Nets star again this summer. However, one executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that if Irving does elect to go to Los Angeles, they won’t be able to offer him a max contract.
“But they’re probably going to look for the star, make another run at Kyrie Irving even though they don’t have the max to give him. Though, no one is scared of them if you swap out Russell Westbrook and put Kyrie on the team,” the executive said.
“Draymond Green is on the list, too, if he decides to opt-out, and he probably will. He makes them a much better defensive team if you drop him onto that roster, but he is getting more and more unusable on offense, and they can’t afford another non-shooter.”
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Nets!
Kyrie Sounds off on Ben Simmons Struggles
The Nets have come out of the gates sluggish to start the 2022-23 season. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on October 26, they now have a record of 1-3.
Kyrie and Durant have both held up their end of the bargain in Brooklyn’s first four games, averaging north of 25 points per game. But the newest Nets star, Ben Simmons, hasn’t exactly been a contributing factor, as he has yet to eclipse the 10-point mark this season. But Irving says that the Nets have to be patient with his progression after nearly a two-year layoff.
“You guys keep coming in here asking me like what about Ben? He hasn’t played in two years. Give him a f****** chance,” Irving said after the loss. “We stay on his shit. You just stay on him. But we’re here to give him positive affirmations.”
Steve Nash Details Ejection in Loss to Bucks
Nets head coach Steve Nash got ejected from the game during the contest after an altercation with referee Josh Tiven. For what it’s worth, the Nets shot 30 free throws to the Bucks’ 29, but still, Nash felt like his squad was getting an unfair whistle and thus stood up for them.
“I was just standing up for our guys. I thought Patty took a forearm in the throat from Giannis right in front of the ref. I didn’t think that was fair. I don’t think I was overly demonstrative. I was upset that I got a tech,” Nash said after the loss via ESPN.
“There wasn’t an explanation. There’s a lot going on out there, so what happened, happened. I said my peace on the court, and that’s really all there is.”
The Nets will take on the Dallas Mavericks in their next contest on October 27.