For the past few days, Kyrie Irving’s future with the Brooklyn Nets looks uncertain. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers are considered the “most significant threat” to land him if he leaves the team. But this scenario might be a little bit painful – joining the Lakers means losing $30 million.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports thinks taking a substantial pay cut might be a significant obstacle for Kyrie Irving to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers:
“Irving has a player option worth $36 million for the 2022-23 season. In order to join the Lakers, Irving would have to turn that down, and then sign a $6 million taxpayer exemption with the Lakers, as that’s the most that the Lakers could offer him with their roster as currently constructed.
“Irving is extremely mercurial, so it’s tough to predict exactly what he’s going to do, but it seems extremely unlikely that he would be willing to miss out on that much money.”
On the other hand, joining the Los Angeles Lakers means rejoining his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James with whom Irving went to the NBA Finals three seasons in a row and finally won NBA Championship in 2016.
“There are credible rumblings in circulation that Irving, for starters, has indeed had some recent contact with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, his former Cleveland teammate, to presumably discuss a potential reunion in Hollywood.”
To sum up, if the 30-year-old star guard agrees to be an underpaid player and regains his Cleveland Cavaliers confidence he would definitely help the Los Angeles Lakers towards another Championship.
This past season, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 29 starts but missed a significant number of home games due to his unvaccinated status.
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