The Kyrie Irving sweepstakes are officially back on! One week before the trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets star guard has delivered an ultimatum to the organization: either trade him by the Feb. 9 deadline or he’ll leave in free agency this summer. With Irving’s talent, leverage, and off-court concerns, teams across the league are looking to make a splash and upgrade their roster not just for this season but beyond. So who could be interested in Irving’s services at the deadline?
The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be the obvious name, as there would be the subplot of reuniting Irving with LeBron James going back to their Cleveland days. The Lakers have the contract to make it work with an expiring Russell Westbrook, though the draft capital will need to be part of the deal. They’re also looking to make a move this deadline, as James only has so many more productive seasons left in his career.
The Miami Heat is another potential Eastern Conference trade partner. The Heat are looking to solidify their status as title contenders, and any compensation going the Nets’ way will likely need to include draft capital. Kyle Lowry wouldn’t be the worst option for the Nets as they look to stay as contenders this season, and Brooklyn could also ask for Tyler Herro in the trade with a contract like Duncan Robinson to make salaries work in any trade.
The Los Angeles Clippers are another win now team with seemingly no budget. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George starting to get healthier, the Clippers are looking to put things together in the win column. Any potential trade will likely need to include draft capital.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are another team that was on Kyrie’s trade list back in 2017 when he asked out from Cleveland. The question now is whether they would be looking to push in on more star power after a rough early return from the Rudy Gobert trade. Minnesota could certainly try to upgrade from former Net D’Angelo Russell who also has an expiring pricy deal at $31 million.
Finally, the Dallas Mavericks have been rumored to kick the tires on Irving in the past as they attempt to find a co-star for Luka Doncic. They have some intriguing long pieces they could include to make it worth Brooklyn’s while, but putting Irving next to Anthony Edwards is a dangerous proposition for a franchise.
The Kyrie Irving sweepstakes are officially back on, and teams across the league are looking to make a splash and upgrade their rosters. With so many potential options, the trade deadline this season is sure to be an interesting one – and it all starts with Irving!