Welp. That didn’t take long. With the NBA’s trade deadline just a few days away, it looks like there’s already a legitimate market out there for Kyrie Irving’s services.
Considering his history in the NBA and how — uh, let’s call it unpredictable — Irving can be, there was a question floating around about how many teams would potentially want to add the Nets’ All-Star to their roster.
It turns out there are already quite a few. According to multiple reports in the situation, there are already at least five potentially vying for Irving’s services.
Here, we have them all ranked from best to worst, starting with:
The Phoenix Suns
The Nets are in a position to compete for a title as the 4th team in the Eastern Conference. That’s not something they want to lose. The Suns give them a viable path to still compete at the top of the conference while offloading Irving, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.
Phoenix is viewed as one of the few teams capable of facilitating a deal with Brooklyn that could keep both teams in championship pursuit.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 3, 2023
It makes sense considering that they could ship a package over revolving around Chris Paul.
The Nets would still be a legitimate contender and the Suns would have one of the more potent scoring backcourts in the league so long as Irving is playing.
The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly prepared to dive into the Irving sweepstakes as they look for a second star surrounding Luka Doncic.
Mavs GM Nico Harrison, a former Nike executive, and coach Jason Kidd have longstanding relationships with Kyrie Irving. Dallas desperately needs co-star alongside Luka Doncic.
Big questions: 1) How much are Mavs willing to give up? 2) Would they make long-term commitment? https://t.co/FpylL9WQ6Z
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 3, 2023
A deal surrounding Dorian Finney-Smith would give the Nets a big wing defender that they sorely need. Plus, sending Spencer Dinwiddie back to Brooklyn as a salary filler would give the Nets an extra ball handler to replace Irving with.
They could maintain their place in the standings while potentially improving defensively.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers haven’t quite been connected to Irving yet, but it’s hard to imagine them not kicking the tires on him considering the fact that they’ve still yet to find their answer at point guard.
They’re in the midst of a search for one, reports Matt Moore of the Action Network. Irving could potentially be that answer.
The Clippers don’t have a bevy of picks to choose from, but they do have a number of players who can contribute now. Marcus Morris, Terrence Mann and cap filler would work here.
The Miami Heat feel like a dark horse in this scenario. They’ve been reportedly linked as a team interested in Irving, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Brian Windhorst names the Heat as in the very short list for Kyrie 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/aEkW1w7JVN
— 𝙃𝙪𝙨𝙝 𝘼𝙇𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨 ™ (@AIR305) February 3, 2023
The Nets still want to compete and the Heat have some useful pieces. Much of it starts with Kyle Lowry returning to form in Brooklyn somehow, which is a huge game. But it’s definitely worth exploring if you’re Brooklyn.
The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers make the most sense for the Nets from a convenience standpoint. They’re interested in Irving and Irving wants to be there. There’s also not much time to construct a deal here, so the fact that there’s a history there plays to LA’s benefit.
But, clearly, there’s a market developing for the All-Star point guard here and that’s not good news for the Lakers.
Their likely offer would be the deal that’s been on the table all season. Russell Westbrook and two firsts for Kyrie.
Lakers fans hearing Kyrie Irving requested a trade pic.twitter.com/PFILvMaiWy
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 3, 2023
That deal would be appealing if the Nets don’t want to win. If they decide to pack things up for the season and start over, this deal skyrockets to the top. But with Kevin Durant still in hand, it’s hard to envision that actually happening.