The Los Angeles Lakers were a reported trade destination for Brooklyn Nets’ guard Kyrie Irving during the 2022 NBA offseason but a deal never came to fruition as the Kevin Durant saga cooled down.
However, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers were unwilling to commit long-term to Irving as the two sides were working through sign-and-trade negotiations last summer.
It might have been the right decision from a basketball standpoint as Irving is currently suspended with a list of tasks to accomplish before he can return to the court after promoting an antisemitic film on social media.
Los Angeles Lakers unwilling to give Kyrie Irving long-term, guaranteed contract last summer
The Lakers currently sit in 14th place in the Western Conference as things have not gone to plan to start the 2022-’23 season. Los Angles currently has a 2-7 record with two straight losses against the Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Los Angeles’ notable players have been playing well over the last two games, specifically. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook have been solid but everyone else around them has struggled.
Would this be different if Irving joined the team? It would be a better fit as it would spread the floor but Wojnarowski talked about the guard on SportsCenter.
“I think it speaks to what happened last summer when (Brooklyn Nets) was resistant to giving Kyrie Irving a long-term guaranteed contract. So were the (Los Angeles Lakers) in a sign-and-trade scenario with Brooklyn. I think for Kyrie Irving, these were the questions that put him in this situation where he was in the final year of his deal. I don’t think there’s anything that’s happened so far this season on or especially off the court that’s going to give anybody more comfort with committing to Kyrie Irving on a long-term contract that leaves an organization without the flexibility to move out from under it.”Adrian Wojnarowski on Kyrie Irving’s situation with Los Angeles Lakers
While Irving would have been a better fit, there are issues bigger than basketball that are preventing him from being on the court. The latest remains the problem surrounding his social media promoting antisemitic films, as stated above.
It is completely reasonable to understand why Los Angeles was skeptical to give Irving a long-term, guaranteed contract. If the organization did last summer, it would have a suspended Irving on its roster with controversy.
The on-court play is not an issue when it comes to Irving. When healthy and available, the 30-year-old point guard is an elite player. However, it is the off-the-court antics that continue to plague Irving moving forward.