The Los Angeles Lakers have been heavily invested in finding a way to get rid of Russell Westbrook. As per the front office, he is clearly not a fit around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LA had an opportunity to trade Westbrook to the Brooklyn nets in exchange for their star point guard Kyrie Irving. The idea was to reunite the championship-winning duo of LeBron James and Irving.
However, the seven-time All-Star has finally made a decision about his future with the Nets, which would be extremely frustrating for the Lakers, who were the only team pursuing the Brooklyn point guard. Kyrie made it clear that he wanted to leave the Nets, bringing a desperate Lakers into the picture. However, despite all the drama, the 30-year-old has decided to stay in Brooklyn and opt for his $36.5m player option next season.
As per the Athletics, Irving chose to opt for his player option in order to keep his four-year commitment with Kevin Durant and the Nets. It seems like Durant contacted Irving amid trade speculations and reminded the point guard of the promise he made, convincing Kyrie to stay for another year and play out his contract with the team. Moreover, Irving reportedly bypassed multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to stay in Brooklyn. The Lakers were the only team who showed some real interest in Irving, proposing a three-team trade that the Nets were interested in. However, the proposal might have involved a team or two which were not on Kyrie’s list.
Kyrie Disappoints LeBron James & Lakers With His Decision:
There was a lot of noise in the NBA fraternity about the Westbrook-Irving trade. But, the rumors turned out to be quite concrete, with Irving reportedly getting in touch with LeBron James. Moreover, the NBA’s agenda of player empowerment would have allowed Irving an opportunity to break into the Lakers’ roster.
However, it is believed that Kevin Durant talked to Irving and reminded him of the promise that he had made about staying for four years. It could be the only understandable reason why Irving chose not to join the Lakers, who are clearly in a better situation than the Nets currently.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the trade deal did not go through. Hence, the franchise is left to figure out how to get rid of Westbrook without giving up their first-round picks. Westbrook is a depreciating asset with a $47 million player option, resulting in rival teams showing no interest in him. Therefore, with Kyrie out of the picture, the Lakers will look to find Westbrook a new home soon.
Talking to the Athletics, Irving said that normal people keep the world going. But the ones who dare to be different are the ones who lead us into tomorrow. The 2012 Rookie of the Year decided to opt in and is looking forward to seeing everyone this fall.