The team known as the Los Angeles Lakers underwent a major overhaul of their roster earlier this year, in anticipation of the trade deadline, and the outcome is undeniably positive. Their strategy involved acquiring youthful players who could make an immediate impact, and it has proven successful up to this point.
Although the Lakers have experienced some success following the trade deadline, rumors have persisted about their interest in acquiring Kyrie Irving, the point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. However, a recent report by Jovan Buha of The Athletic has indicated that obtaining Irving would require the Lakers to part ways with all of the players they acquired during the trade deadline, owing to the team’s salary cap constraints for the 2023-24 season. Furthermore, Buha suggested that it is unlikely that the Lakers will make such a move.
Lakers need to lose 5 players to sign Kyrie Irving
“Choosing Irving would essentially force the Lakers to punt on their trade deadline additions. To create cap space, they would need to renounce the free-agent rights of Russell and Rui Hachimura, decline a team option on Beasley and waive Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba. (Vanderbilt’s 2023-24 contract is partially guaranteed, while Bamba’s is fully unguaranteed.) The Lakers could technically keep Reaves (due to his $2.1 million cap hold) and/or Vanderbilt (because of his small $4.7 million contract), but that would require persuading Irving to take an even steeper pay cut,” Buha said.
So the five players Lakers need to get rid of to acquire Kyrie Irving are – Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba.
It’s undeniable that adding Kyrie Irving to any team with championship aspirations would generally be a positive move. However, for a team like the Los Angeles Lakers that has many older players and injury concerns, it may not be wise to sacrifice half of their roster to acquire him. Nonetheless, the Lakers could potentially change their stance before Irving becomes a free agent. The fact remains that Kyrie Irving has been outstanding this season, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. It will be intriguing to see how he handles free agency and what his future holds.
LeBron James to return for the playoffs
LeBron James has been diligently working on his recovery, and there is a possibility that he may return to the court before the season concludes. According to a prior report, James informed a staff member at Crypto.com Arena that he intends to make his comeback in time for the playoffs. In the meantime, the Los Angeles Lakers will need to maintain their position until James’ return, and it will be intriguing to see if they are capable of doing so. The team is intending to play Anthony Davis during their last back-to-back game of the season to enhance their chances of securing a playoff berth, and only time will tell if they are successful.
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