The Clippers are set to compete with their Los Angeles rivals, the Lakers, after they entered the sweepstakes for wantaway Nets star Kyrie Irving, according to a report.
Irving informed the Brooklyn Nets Friday that he wishes to be traded before next Thursday’s deadline or he will leave in free agency in July.
Since his demand, four NBA teams have been linked to the 30-year-old, including LeBron James’s Lakers.
The Lakers had been linked to the guard along with the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns and the Clippers have become the latest team to engage with the Nets over a potential trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Irving and Brooklyn were reportedly unable to come to an agreement on a new contract, which Irving had been seeking.
The LA Clippers have reportedly entered the sweepstakes for wantaway Nets star Kyrie Irving
Irving informed the Nets Friday that he wishes to be traded before next Thursday’s deadline
Irving was said to be seeking a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $198.5 million, but the Nets were unwilling to agree to that length of extension given the varying availability of the point guard for various reasons over the last couple of seasons.
The guard will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will be able to leave under free agency in summer.
The Lakers had reportedly held ‘exploratory conversations’ about a potential trade of nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook.
Los Angeles is believed to be looking for a top shooter to complement stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and reportedly have their sights set on the Detroit Pistons’ Bojan Bogdanovic.
However, Irving’s ultimatum to the Brooklyn Nets could alter the situation as the Lakers could use Westbrook in a deal for the point guard to reunite Irving with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate.
Superstar James even tweeted eyes and crown emojis in a cryptic post amid Irving’s bombshell news.
This past offseason, Irving asked for and was granted permission to seek a sign-and-trade, though he eventually reneged and returned to the Nets.
He chose to remain in Brooklyn, opting in to the final year of his four-year max deal last June after no teams stepped up to trade for him.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are reportedly ‘exploring’ trade of Russell Westbrook
Kyrie Irving’s ultimatum to the Brooklyn Nets could alter the situation, however
James tweeted eyes and crown emojis in a cryptic post amid Irving’s request to leave the Nets
Irving has endured a rocky tenure in Brooklyn, beginning with his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine during the 2020-21 season which forced him out of the lineup for home games until New York mayor Eric Adams altered the city’s laws.
The most recent controversy to surround Irving and the nets came earlier this season when he faced backlash for tweeting a link to an ‘anti-Semitic’ film.
Irving initially refused to apologize or back down over the tweet before Brooklyn suspended him for eight games and he eventually issued an apology for sharing the 2018 documentary, which was based on a book described as ‘venomously anti-Semitic.’
Irving, who was selected as a starter for the 2023 All-Star Game, is averaging 27.1 points and 5.3 assists in 40 games this season and had recently carried the team on a streak of six games or more than 30 points before it was snapped against the Lakers Monday night.
However, despite the reported interest in Irving following his request, the demand appears to have triggered more inquiries about his teammate Kevin Durant.
Teams are inquiring about Durant, a former MVP who comes without Irving’s perceived baggage, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant is still recovering from a sprained knee, but aside from injuries, the 34-year-old has been reliable on the floor, pouring in 29.7 points a game while hitting a remarkable 55.9 percent of his field goal attempts.
Although he’s signed in Brooklyn through the 2025-26 season, Durant could find himself in the trade block if the Nets decide to rebuild after the latest Irving fiasco.
Irving’s trade demand to the Brooklyn Nets has reportedly ignited a wave of interest among rival teams for his teammate Kevin Durant (right)