Posts Tagged ‘#KyrieIrving’

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten their blockbuster trade to pair Anthony Davis with LeBron James out of the way, they can move forward and figure out what other stars they’re going to try to bring to L.A. to join them, and there are increasing signs that Kyrie Irving might be a possibility.

Irving and the Lakers have been linked a few times, with reports that Irving has spoken to people about playing for L.A., and other rumors that James is already recruiting him.

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While the Brooklyn Nets still appear to be the favorites for Irving, it may not be safe to rule out the Lakers just yet, especially after Saturday’s trade for Davis, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic (emphasis mine):

If Davis waives his $4.7 million trade kicker, the Lakers will be able to add another star in free agency on a max contract. Whether it’s Kemba Walker, whom the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported as a potential Lakers target, or Kyrie Irving, whom sources have maintained for months wants to play with Davis, someone dynamic will likely be on the ball next season in L.A. (Cap guru Albert Nahmad pointed out Saturday that the Lakers might wait 30 days after the June 20 draft to officially execute the trade so Davis could keep his trade bonus.)

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Lakers will have either $27.8 million in cap space, or $32.5, depending on when they finalize the deal for Davis, and if Davis keeps or waives his $4 million trade kicker. The latter number is only a hair under the max contract that Irving is eligible for, meaning that he might not have to sacrifice much financially to leave the Boston Celtics for L.A., or at least not compared to leaving for any other team, as Boston can still offer him an extra year and more money annually.

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Things haven’t gone super smoothly for the Celtics this season, and there are apparently some underlying issues within the organization involving All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. According to a report from ESPN.com’s Tim Bontemps, members of the Celtics have been “frustrated” and “disappointed” with Irving throughout the season.

From ESPN:

“But while Irving said all the right things before this season began, things haven’t gone according to plan during it, as virtually everyone involved with the Celtics has been some combination of disappointed and frustrated by how this season has played out so far. That has been especially true with regard to Irving, multiple sources said, due to a variety of factors.

Irving is undoubtedly playing the best basketball of his career — but it hasn’t translated to wins. The Celtics are, in theory, more talented than the team that reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals without Irving and Gordon Hayward last season. But Boston is in fourth place in the East, getting there only after Friday’s win thanks in part to the Indiana Pacers plummeting after losing Victor Oladipo for the season because of a torn quad tendon.

Irving’s frustrations have spilled over to other members of the team. He has repeatedly aired his grievances with Boston’s young players — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier — through the media, including after a loss in Orlando last month. It was after that same loss that Irving confronted coach Brad Stevens in the huddle for not calling the potential game-deciding shot for him, and Hayward on the court afterward for passing the ball to Tatum instead of him… The young players have, in turn, been frustrated with Irving.” 

After publicly declaring that he planned to re-sign with the Celtics last October, Irving has since back-tracked on those comments, leading many to speculate that he could be interested in leaving Boston to sign elsewhere when he hits free agency this summer.

“At the end of the day, like I said, I’ve spent the last eight years trying to do what everybody else wanted me to do in terms [of] making my decisions and trying to validate through the media, through other personnel, managers, anybody in this business,” Irving said regarding his upcoming free agency. “I don’t owe anybody s**t.”

When asked if his mindset has changed regarding re-signing with Boston, Irving said: “Ask me July 1.”

While the Celtics are a legitimate contender in the East this season, the long-term future of their most productive player seems increasingly uncertain.

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As we relayed yesterday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving suffered a scratched cornea in Monday’s loss to the Spurs after being on the receiving end of an accidental elbow from Marco Belinelli. Irving was able to reenter the game, but it now appears that the injury to both eyes is more severe than previously anticipated.

Speaking earlier today to Zolak & Bertrand of Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub (h/t to NBC Sports Boston), head coach Brad Stevens sounded confident that Irving will miss both tonight’s game against the Timberwolves and beyond.

“Yes (Irving’s absence may extend beyond tonight’s game), but that will be re-evaluated tomorrow. He got swiped across the face, and it was a unique deal because it got both eyes. And the right eye was the initial concern with the corneal abrasion.

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