In the past months, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and his future with the Brooklyn Nets. Irving may have expressed his desire to return to Brooklyn in the 2022-23 NBA season, but the Nets don't seem willing to give him a massive contract extension this summer. If they fail to reach an agreement regarding a new deal, multiple signs indicate that Irving and the Nets will be parting ways in the 2022 NBA offseason.
NBA Rumors: Nets Could Acquire Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook In Proposed Kyrie Irving-Lakers Blockbuster Trade
Kyrie Irving To LA Lakers
One of the top favorite landing spots for Irving should he decide to leave the Nets this summer is the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers are considered the "most significant threat" to steal Irving from the Nets in the 2022 NBA offseason. With the presence of his former teammate LeBron James on their roster, it isn't surprising that the Lakers are being heavily linked to Irving.
Irving and James formed a strong bond during their time together on the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the three years that they were teammates, they made three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title in 2016.
Proposed Trade Involving Multiple Superstars
With their limited salary cap space, the Lakers couldn't sign Irving outright if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The best path for the Lakers to acquire Irving is to convince him to opt into the final year of his contract and then engage in a blockbuster deal with the Nets. In an episode of First Things First, Fox Sports 1 analyst Nick Wright came up with a hypothetical blockbuster trade that could benefit the Lakers and the Nets.
In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would be sending Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook to the Nets in exchange for Irving and Ben Simmons.
Nets Try To Convince Kevin Durant To Stay
The Nets would make the trade with the goal of convincing Kevin Durant to stay with the team. When the 2021-22 NBA season came to an end for the Nets, there were speculations that if Irving leaves, Durant would also strongly consider finding his way out of Brooklyn. However, things could change if the Nets give him a pair of superstars who would help him carry the team next season. Aside from adding a floor-spacing big man in Davis, the proposed blockbuster deal would also reunite Durant with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook.
Lakers Form 'Big 3' With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving & Ben Simmons
For the Lakers, the hypothetical blockbuster trade would enable them to replace Westbrook with another All-Star point guard who knows how to efficiently co-exist with James on the court. Despite his controversial vaccination stance, a healthy Irving would still be a massive upgrade over Westbrook in the Lakers' backcourt, giving them a floor general who can knock three-pointers.
Meanwhile, bringing Simmons to Los Angeles would be a huge gamble for the Lakers. However, if he can regain his confidence and All-Star form and willingly take the role of the team's third fiddle, Simmons could form an intriguing "Big Three" with James and Irving next season.