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NBA rumors: Lakers won't pursue Kyrie Irving this offseason

Fansided 3/17/2023 Ian Levy
© Provided by Fansided

The Lakers couldn't trade for Kyrie Irving but they may have a chance to sign him this offseason. But it sounds like they might be happier without him.

The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on Kyrie Irving at the NBA Trade Deadline. Their interest was well known and it appeared to be mutual. But Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks and the Lakers ended up with a series of trades that landed them Malik Beasley, D'Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt.

While those deals involved adding salary to their books for next season, there was always the possibility that they could add Irving as a free agent this summer. His contract expires at the end of this season and his pairing with Luka Doncic had gotten off to a somewhat rocky start — the Mavericks are just 7-9 since the trade. The Lakers could have theoretically created the room to make Kyrie a max offer with some combination of letting D'Angelo Russell (also an unrestricted free agent) leave, declining their player option on Malik Beasley, waiving Mo Bamba and his partially guaranteed salary.

The Lakers may be officially out on Kyrie Irving

However, it sounds like the Lakers are more enamored with the depth and versatility they acquired at the deadline than the volatile star power of Irving. Appearing on a Hoops Hype podcast, Lakers' insider Jovan Buha said:

"From what I've been told by my sources around the organization, they wanted to run this situation back. It's looked good so far. They've won a lot of games. They've done a lot of winning without LeBron James. That's something that's kind of been under-discussed. The non-LeBron minutes were always an issue for the Lakers going back to his first year in L.A.

From what I've been told, they're not going to be pursuing Kyrie Irving this offseason. Of course, that could change. To my knowledge and to what I've been told, the Kyrie ship, I think, has sailed. You never want to say never. That could easily change, but as of right now, their plan is to run this back."

The Lakers play the Mavs tonight, Mar. 17, as both teams battle for playoff position. A win for the Lakers would tie them in the standings with the Mavericks. The Timberwolves also play tonight against the Bulls, if they win the Lakers-Mavs tie would be for the No. 8 seed. If the Timberwolves lose, it would be a three-way tie for the No. 7 seed.

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