Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers: Kyrie Irving Inching Closer To Lakers


The Los Angeles Lakers always have a few tricks up their sleeves. After a disappointing season that left them with a 27-55 record, second-worst in the Western Conference, they’re now ready to retool with a wealth of options.

They’ve yet to figure out their head coaching position and how to use the $30 plus million available in cap space, not to mention what to do with their No. 7 pick in the upcoming draft. That’ll take some time to figure out; the Lakers haven’t drafted that high since selecting Hall of Fame forward James Worthy first overall in 1982. They’re a bit rusty to say the least.

It’s apparent that there’s a multitude of variables and options sitting at the Lakers doorstep. Although the league may not be their oyster anymore, they’re still flush with notoriety and remain to be one of the top player destinations in the league.

It seems that certain players are wallflowers all night, watching others dance until the dj throws their song into rotation and they’re in the center of the dance floor soaking up the limelight. So it goes for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. He’s been linked to the Lakers and a potential pairing of Kobe Bryant for some time, and it seems the tunes have began to play in the Lakers favor.

After the Cavaliers lost LeBron James to the Miami Heat with nothing in return, owner Dan Gilbert vowed that he’d trade a top player before allowing another star to leave again. First it was rumored that tensions ran high between Cavs guard Dion Waiters and Irving, and soon after ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Irving wanted out of Cleveland – all of which Irving denied.

All of this leads to Cleveland reportedly refusing to offer Irving a maximum extension, and if there’s a talent in the league deserving of an extension, it’s the 21-year-old third year pro and former No.1 overall pick. In the event that he will not receive a maximum extension, he’ll most likely be moved before the NBA Draft. His trade value is worthy of a top pick at the least, and there are teams that will pull the trigger without hesitation.

The Lakers are one of those teams. They own the seventh pick, and are entertaining one of Kyrie’s former coaches and go-to mentors Byron Scott. Scott coached Irving during his first two NBA seasons in Cleveland. It’s been rumored that Scott will be the next head coach of the Lakers, and his ability to recruit Irving into a purple and gold jersey is of high interest to the Lakers.

In fact, the Lakers’ interest in luring Irving away from Cleveland is so high that it could be a deal maker or breaker for Scott. According to multiple sources Irving and Scott “still text on a regular basis, and the relationship is very good.” The chances of Scott’s hiring and Irving’s arrival are real and very high.

You might ask, why would teams who own a pick between two and six be interested in trading away their selection for Irving? It’s the same superstar trade scenario that we’ve seen in each of the last few seasons. It all depends on the receiving teams ability to resign the star player to a max deal. Irving is a New York Native, and neither the New York Knicks nor Brooklyn Nets have selections in the entire draft. That rules out a return home.

The Philadelphia 76ers (third pick) have Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando Magic (fourth pick) have Victor Oladipo and are expected to select 6-foot-6 point guard Dante Exum. Utah Jazz (fifth pick) have thrived with Trey Burke and the Boston Celtics (sixth pick) have made it clear Rajon Rondo isn’t going anywhere. That leaves the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks (second pick). Anyone who’s spent time in Milwaukee and Los Angeles will tell you LA has the upper hand there. The Bucks will either select Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins, depending on who the Cavs take first, which makes the Lakers seventh pick attractive for Cleveland, who can ideally replace Kryie Irving with Marcus Smart or another top guard.

Irving’s $7.5 million salary, and the Lakers vast amount of cap space makes it relatively easy to move him as well. Certainly the Cavaliers will want to receive talent in tandem with the seventh pick, which makes a sign and trade possible as well.

Irving has led the Cavaliers in scoring and assists in all of his three seasons. He was also named this year’s All-Star Game MVP and has often been referred to as the future top point guard in the NBA. In what seems to be the beginning of a farewell campaign for Kobe Bryant, adding Irving makes sense for the Lakers. They’ve always sought the big names. Adding Irving would give them the big name they hopelessly desire and the bigger talent they desperately need.

Tags: Byron Scott Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving Los Angeles Lakers

  • stucktrader

    Even if Irving came to LA, they are lacking in so many areas… but it is a blank slate…
    Xavier, Basemore, Kelly all proved themselves as keepers on the cheap.

    I just think defensively, Smart offers something the Lakers could use now… So, a Hollins as HC and Smart at PG would blend well… Hollins offense would also work well with Pau if he decides to stay.

    Kyrie on the other hand, will put people in the seats…

    • Marcus Bass

      They’re lacking, but it’s a very good start to build on and we all know the Lakers favor the name on the back of the jersey as much as they do talent. They’re not selling out games like they used to so they’re looking to pursue big name guys.

  • wangkon936

    Kyrie Irving for the Lakers’ 7th pick. I would do that deal. You would have to add pieces to make the salaries work. The Lakers give 1) 7th pick, $2.2M contract 2) Steve Nash’s steaming pile of crap, but only one year left $9.7M contract. The Lakers get 1) Kyrie Irving, $7.5M contract 2) Anthony Bennett’s steaming pile of crap $5.6M contract OR 2) Tristan Thompson and his $5.4M contract. I prefer Thomspon over Bennett, but whatever will work.

    • Marcus Bass

      I’m not sure the Cav’s would take Steve Nash especially after the mystique surrounding his back, however the Lakers are in the position to sign and trade a player. It’s unfortunate that the Cavs will have the same amount of cap room the Lakers will have so Irving would have to really push himself to LA for this to work.

      • wangkon936

        Nash has an expiring contract, which is valuable in this day and age of the CBA. Kwame Brown’s expiring contract helped the Grizzlies sign Zach Randolph, which was the reason why the Grizz signed off on the Pau Gasol trade, even though it looked lopsided to the casual fan at the time.

        • Marcus Bass

          It’s attractive to a team needing to clear cap space. The Cav’s have 30+ mil available to sign anyone they want. They’re not taking Nash.

          • wangkon936

            Yes, but that’s for the 2014-15 season. Nash’s contract prepares them for the free agent 2015-16 season, which will be significant.

          • satans helper

            maybe they take Nash if he comes with Gasol and pick#7 and Irving wants out of C-Town. Something is better than nothing. At 40 Nash would be more in a mentor role, for the front court. Gasol is 33. Plenty of time. Marcus Smart @#7 could work.

    • satans helper

      Bennett and Thompson not being traded. If all-star MVP Kyrie wants out? 21 yrs old. Trade for pick#7 Marcus Smart, and Gasol and Nash. Clears Lakers for rebuild with Irving, and give C-Town a bridge to the future. Maybe Lebron would team up with Nash and Gasol and Wiggins and Bennett/Thompson/Waiters/Smart/Varajeo/Jack,etc…

      • wangkon936

        Can’t trade Gasol. He’s not under contract.

    • Jay

      haha yeah right nobody in their right mind would go for that

  • Derek

    I wouldn’t exactly agree with the Lakers trading that pick but if its for Kyrie Irving im OK with that because hes already a superstar on an awful team and hes still only 21 years of age and would be in great relation with Byron Scott if hes hired On the other hand Kobe would also love this because they got a superstar and they still have cap room for more intriguing players in free agency if Kyrie wants to come to LA then make it happen

    • Jay

      oh and the Lakers was so great this year Lakers are crap too

      • gmoney

        But we had nick young and pau leading our team…u had kyrie, waiters, deng, Spencer, and varejo and u guys still couldn’t crack the 8th spot…the cavs r the worst franchise in sports next to the mets

        • Jacob Arnett

          Cavs worst franchise in sports? Based on what? Clean the sand out of your vagina you’re just a hater. Hate to break it to you bud, but the Lakers have a much cloudier future than the Cavaliers. Only got pick #7. Kobe, well stick a fork in him. Same with Gasol. No player/talent development. Coaching is garbage. You’re not going to get Kyrie anytime soon. You have nothing to offer.

          • gmoney

            im not a hater, I’m just a realest, even with the number 1 draft pick and a roster of great young players ur future is still cloudy based on ur past, kyrie wants out and if he dsnt leave then waiters will…the best case scenario for ur team is getting to the finals in 5 years and then losing to the west and then everyone leaving the team the next season…sand out of my vagina? wow nice comeback u fuckin middle school bitch, dead ass i haven’t heard shit like that since i was 11, get out of ur moms basement u fuckin faggot

          • gmoney

            its just facts, the best player to ever play on the cavs was lik larry nance and even with a fairly stacked squad in 89 u couldn’t beat YOUNG MJ…lakers hav 16 rings and kobe…the cavs just got the nbas most overrated player (lebron) and the leagues worst bench…btw u can’t talk shhit cuz the lakers beat ur team last year with only 4 players xD

  • Michael Buchanan

    Weird post… Why would Cavs trade Kyrie since he is under contract for 2 more years not one more. At worse they would use him up this year and make him trade bait next year. This story has no legs. Speculation at best. Plus if Marcus Smart is so great then why would the Lakers not draft him for cheaper than Kyrie. Think best trade Lakers can make is move up to 4 or 5 and try to get Exum and being back Ariza to stretch the floor.

    • wangkon936

      According to SportsTrac, Kyrie’s contract expires after this coming year. Then he becomes a restricted free agent.

      • Michael Buchanan

        Restricted free agent is a player who is still obligated to original team and original team can match contract.

        • wangkon936

          Yes, but there are rumblings from Cleveland that they won’t match a max contract for Kyrie, which is why there are articles like this one talking about trading him if you won’t offer a max contract.

          • Jay

            take it from somebody that lives in Cleveland all these stories by Kyrie are crap he is staying because Cleveland has number one draft pick a boatload of money and leBron possibly coming back

          • gmoney

            Only from a cavs fan…look lebron isn’t coming back (if he does, il be completely and utterly shocked) and kyrie isn’t the one making the choices here as far as staying goes…His team sees that he Dsnt lik it there, the only thing kyrie can rly semi – control is where he goes after the cavs decline his extension again…him in in a lakers uniform would be amazing xD

          • wangkon936

            Agreed. Cleveland doesn’t have the best history in retaining its FAs. The Cavs don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to FA retention.

  • J Taylor

    I’d be OK with trading the 1st for Kyrie, Love, Melo, Monroe, or Bledsoe. (or Durant, Westbrook, Lebron….)

  • thomas rickard

    Why is everyone so set on trading the Lakers pick, let’s slow down and rebuild right, it’s not a 40yd dash, it’s a marathon.

  • Chris McLafferty

    The Lakers would have the upper hand against the Bucks if it was free agency but since it’s not, the Bucks have the upper hand since they have a higher draft choice and more young assets. Plus how awesome would it be to send the guy who only wants to play in a large market to Milwaukee.

  • Derek

    Hey Jay cleveland is about as good as my ass twerking

  • shockjay

    If the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love scenarios don’t pan out, what about trading Steve Nash and the rights to the #7 pick to Toronto for the #14 and #18 pick along with a player or two?

  • Michael Buchanan

    Soooo… Um… Awkward