When news broke Friday that Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving wants to be traded ahead of next week’s trade deadline, one team was immediately tabbed as the favorite to land him: the Lakers.
Irving trade rumors swirled ahead of the 2022–23 season, and L.A. was the team most often cited as a potential landing spot. The team could use a playmaker at point guard, and Irving has plenty of history with superstar LeBron James, his former Cavaliers teammate with whom he won an NBA title.
It certainly appears that James is interested in reuniting with Irving as well. The Lakers, 25–28 on the year, sit in 12th place in the Western Conference and could certainly use a boost by a player of Irving’s caliber. After the rumors broke on Friday afternoon, James sent a tweet that can easily be interpreted as a brief, emoji based reaction to the news:
Others associated with the Lakers were more free to speak their minds about a potential move. Magic Johnson, the L.A. legend and the team’s president for a brief time ending in 2019, tweeted, “Personally, I’d love to see Kyrie in the purple and gold.”
Whatever happens over the next few days, the Nets are expected to engage the Lakers in trade talks, among other teams. If he is not dealt, Irving is expected to leave in free agency in the offseason, after disagreements over stipulations raised in his contract extension negotiations with Brooklyn according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.
The NBA trade deadline is coming up at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 9.