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Why all the Kyrie Irving to Los Angeles rumors are just leverage play

All these rumors could certainly be true but remember, the offseason is also the time when players and general managers leak their messages to the media to strengthen their case in every negotiation process.
Kyrie Irving might be on his way out of the Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving

Early this week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news about Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving being in an impasse with his team regarding his future. According to Charania, if Irving and the Nets don’t settle on an agreement, there’s a good chance that groups like the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and New York Knicks court him to join them instead.

This is all part of the negotiation process.

To add spice to all the rumors, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned on Wednesday that the Lakers are considered the most significant threat to pry Irving away from the Nets. While NBA senior reporter Marc Stein also said that Irving and James had contacted each other in the past few weeks, discussing a potential reunion in Hollywood.

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Look, all these rumors could certainly be true but remember, the offseason is also the time of the year when players, general managers, and even team owners leak their messages to the media to strengthen their case in every negotiation process.

In this case of Irving, observe how he’s utilizing the media to threaten the Nets that he could easily leave if he doesn’t get the contract he wants. The Nets have every right to hesitate in giving Irving a max contract, especially since they have questions about his commitment. However, in this player empowerment era, superstars can always go down the “pay me, or I’ll leave” route when they don’t get what they want.

So it makes sense why Irving’s camp continues to leak to the media that he may very well consider options if he doesn’t get the contract he wants from Brooklyn. This is what you call the negotiation phase, and it’s not surprising that Irving is using the media to stand his ground — something superstars always do during the offseason.

What are the chances Irving becomes a Laker?

The reason why it’s so easy to accuse Irving of using the Lakers to create leverage is because there is absolutely no way he takes a 30 million discount to join his old buddy James in Los Angeles. Remember, for Irving to switch teams, he’ll not only be leaving his hometown but also his best friend Kevin Durant, who is the reason why he’s in Brooklyn in the first place. So to answer the question, there is a possibility that Irving can be a Laker, but the chances are slim.

So before reacting to all the rumors and aggregations, remember that it’s also negotiation season for players and general managers involved. Don’t take every single rumor you see that seriously, and remember, someone almost always benefits from these types of leaks. 

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