After Kyrie Irving was shipped to Dallas, it was reported the Nets and the Lakers had “several conversations” about a potential deal for the star guard.
Well, those talks might have been nothing more than a formality.
Los Angeles was viewed among the likeliest landing spots for Irving when the eight-time All-Star requested a trade out of Brooklyn. The possibility of reuniting with LeBron James probably appealed to Irving, who theoretically could have given the Purple and Gold an opportunity to move off from Russell Westbrook.
But an Irving-to-LA apparently was never going to happen, as Nets owner Joe Tsai had a “presumed objective” to trade the polarizing point guard to a team other than his “preferred destination” of the Lakers, per veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein.
Considering the Lakers don’t play in the same conference as the Nets and would’ve been hard-pressed to reach the Finals even with Irving on board, Tsai’s rumored stance comes off as the owner sticking it to the 30-year-old one last time before he left Brooklyn for good. Irving was a perpetual source of drama throughout his Nets tenure, so one can understand why Tsai didn’t want to give the 12th-year pro exactly what he wanted.
So, Sunday’s development might have felt like a little victory for Tsai and company. But now the Nets need to move off the pettiness and focus on keeping franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant happy.