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Why It's Highly Unlikely that Kyrie Irving Joins LeBron and the Lakers

Brian Windhorst: “Is Kyrie Irving really willing to walk away from this $36 million player option that he has? Because the most the Lakers can pay him is about $6.5 million, that’s what they have. Any wishful thinking about Russell Westbrook and two future first round picks, Taylor Horton-Tucker, or whatever hocus pocus you can come up to make it work in the trade machine… the only trade that the Nets would be willing to do for Kyrie Irving to the Lakers would be for Anthony Davis, and the Lakers are not trading Anthony Davis for Kyrie Irving, nor should they. Does anyone actually believe that Kyrie would walk away from a $36 million player option to go sign for $6 million with the Lakers? If he wanted to go to the Knicks he could sign for $10 million. This is a guy who left roughly $15 million on the table last year because he wouldn’t get vaccinated. I’ve never seen a player make a move like this but I can’t sit here and tell you that it’s ‘impossible.’ It’s also not impossible that a team like the Knicks could start trading pieces off to clear salary-cap space, and maybe they couldn’t get to $40 million but maybe they could get to $25 million.”

Dan Patrick: “Does LeBron want Kyrie?”

Windhorst: “I think LeBron would play with Kyrie if all things were equal. Would he rather have Kyrie as his point guard than Russell Westbrook? Of course, he would. Would he want to trade Anthony Davis for Kyrie? No, he would not. Would he want Kyrie for $6 million? Yes, he would. Could they be friends of ‘convenience’? Yes, I do, but I really think that unless Kyrie makes a historic move… the Lakers can’t functionally make a sign and trade. The only way the Lakers can realistically trade for Kyrie would be if he opted into his contract for next year and then forced the Nets to trade him. And if he opts into his contract the Nets will just let him play out the $36 million. I could draw you up something on how the Knicks could do it, but the Lakers? I can’t close the door on it but I think it’s a real long shot.”

Listen to ESPN basketball insider Brian Windhorst join The Dan Patrick Show to explain why he believes it’s a ‘real long shot’ for Kyrie Irving to team back up with LeBron James on the Lakers.

Check out the interview segment above as Windhorst explains to DP why the numbers just don’t add up when it comes to Irving leaving Brooklyn for LA.

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