In today’s edition of As the NBA Turns, Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has told the franchise that he wants to be traded ahead of Thursday's deadline, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
It does not appear that Irving has given a list of destinations he’d like to be, but if you connect the dots, it looks like one of those destinations would be, you guessed it, the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN Sources: Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
An interesting note came from Sam Amick today that said the Utah Jazz are a team to watch because “Danny Ainge doesn’t have the same sorts of reservations about Irving as others.”
A potential outside-the-box landing spot for Kyrie Irving?@sam_amick offers up the Jazz.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) February 3, 2023
“The (Danny) Ainge factor is fascinating and worth watching.”https://t.co/4TpwQ3mKXj pic.twitter.com/2v6DhhzrPd
It’s an interesting revelation for sure. With the amount of assets the Jazz have, a trade with the Nets is certainly possible. But with Kyrie Irving on the verge of free agency, it wouldn’t make sense to make the trade unless there was some sort of guarantee that Irving would sign long term. Amick says as much in the article:
I don’t know what a trade package to bring Irving to Utah might look like - it’s very early here, foks - but can confidently state that Ainge doesn’t have the same sorts of reservations about Irving as many others....
There’s one massive obstacle, though: If the Jazz didn’t get some assurances that Irving would re-sign, they have zero incentive to send out assets that would ultimately have been wasted.
It must be stated that as much as Ainge may appreciate Irving’s game on the court, which is masterful, his off-the-court and lockerroom issues can be devastating for teams. How much turmoil have the Nets dealt with in their short time with Irving on the team?
What seems more likely is some sort of three-team deal that the Jazz help facilitate. Could the Utah Jazz get those pair of Laker picks in a move that helps get Kyrie to reunite with LeBron James?