Kyrie Irving’s trade market continues to grow, with yet another playoff contender entering the mix.
The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly have made a “strong offer” to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Irving, according to The Athletic’s Law Murray. This comes just 24 hours after news surfaced of the All-Star guard’s trade request from the Nets, which prompted a vague response from Brooklyn head coach Jacque Vaughn and a sea of displeased fans in attendance at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Irving, who is set to make $36 million in the final year of his current contract with the Nets, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season — increasing the risk of dealing away valuable assets in exchange for the historically disgruntled floor general.
The Clippers, much like the Nets, are no strangers to managing star personalities. Los Angeles has struggled to avoid the ultimate failure that has been their attempt at a super team. In 2019, the same year Irving and Kevin Durant teamed up in Brooklyn, the Clippers unified stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard — fresh off his NBA Finals win with the Toronto Raptors.
Yet, it hasn’t been nearly as glorious as it was down in Toronto. Leonard has played just 138 of 246 possible games with the Clippers through the last three regular seasons. To put it shortly, like Irving, Leonard has proven to be unreliable for a Los Angeles team that has made just one Western Conference Finals appearance — which he didn’t play in.
There is a familiarity factor in place with Clippers head coach Tyronne Lue having won an NBA Finals with Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016.
With nearly half a season being the best-case-scenario guarantee in the event of a trade, the Clippers could either be making a great or awful decision dealing for Irving. It’s been suggested the 30-year-old is seeking an extension worth the $198.5 million ballpark this upcoming offseason, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers, and others, have until the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline to strike a deal with the Nets for Irving.