Basketball

Lakers: How does Kevin Durant situation impact pursuit of Kyrie Irving?

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and guard Kyrie Irving. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

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Kevin Durant’s decision to return to the Brooklyn Nets will have consequences for the Los Angeles Lakers and their pursuit of Kyrie Irving.

The Brooklyn Nets have had a summer of uncertainty with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the trade block.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have been trying to take advantage of Irving’s situation by engineering a trade to reunite him with LeBron James while shipping Russell Westbrook out of Los Angeles.

It would have been a difficult plan to pull off in the first place even under the best of circumstances. Now it looks like that scenario is definitely not going to happen because Kevin Durant has recommitted to Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant situation essentially ends Lakers pursuit of Kyrie Irving

It comes down to relationships. Durant and Irving have a strong connection and one deciding to stay in Brooklyn was always going to give the other one a great reason to stay as well.

Kendrick Perkins made that point on ESPN.

“[Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook] didn’t even like one another… This is a different relationship when it comes to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. These guys have a special type of friendship.”

— Kendrick Perkins#NBATwitter pic.twitter.com/mTuVyMuKj6

— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) August 24, 2022

Shams Charania threw even more cold water on the Lakers getting Irving in the wake of Durant’s decision.

Shams on the Mcafee Show.

“Kyrie Irving to the Lakers FOR NOW is not a thing”

Also mentioned to keep an eye on Pat Bev & Bojan Bogdanović pic.twitter.com/IX2kAqD6Md

— AJ ™ (@AJsHoopHype) August 23, 2022

On one hand, Charania left the door open on Irving to Los Angeles with a large “for now.” On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that kind of move will have to wait until next year at the earliest.

It may depend on things going poorly in Brooklyn as well because if Durant and Irving find their feet this coming season, staying with the Nets will become that much more likely.

Essentially, the Lakers have to figure something else out while working overtime to repair the relationship between Westbrook and the team. Irving isn’t going to be there to save them this year, and he might not be available next year either.



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