With Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving requesting a trade before Thursday’s deadline, NBA legend Magic Johnson knows where he wants to see him go.
«Personally, I would love to see Kyrie in purple and gold,» Johnson tweeted Friday, referring to his Los Angeles Lakers.
Irving requested a trade from the Nets on Friday and reportedly told the team he would become a free agent if they didn’t trade him by 3 p.m. Thursday.
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Irving and the Nets had fallen through contract extension talks recently as he seeks a maximum salary deal of around four years, $198.5 million, according to ESPN.
This news came just days after Irving was named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference after averaging 27.1 points per game for a 31-20 Nets team that currently sits fourth in the conference.
NETS LEAVE KYRIE IRVING UNTIL TRADE IS FINALIZED BEFORE DEADLINE DATE: REPORT
Irving also missed Saturday night’s home game against the Washington Wizards, with Brooklyn saying it was due to a sore right calf. When the image of him appeared on the Jumbotron, Nets fans were heard to boo him due to his frustration with the polarizing guard.
The Nets are reportedly keeping Irving on the sidelines until they can finalize a trade, according to Bleacher Report. However, if a trade is not made, The New York Post said Irving could sit out the rest of the season.
The Lakers are considered the favorites to land Irving, who won his only NBA title in 2016 with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. After missing the playoffs last year and sitting 13th in the West right now, James and the Lakers want to add someone who can push them into the postseason conversation.
When the news broke on Friday, James posted on Twitter an eye and crown emoji, which is supposed to be about Irving’s availability.
But while the Lakers seem like a solid target, there are some questions about the length he wants. The Los Angeles Times reports pessimism about Irving being traded to the Lakers because he wants a maximum salary deal, which would be that four-year deal. The Lakers are reportedly not in favor of a contract longer than two years.
NETS’ KYRIE IRVING BOOED BY THE CROWD AT HOME AFTER REQUESTING TRADE
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be the one to make the deal, but James’ opinion is certainly considered in situations like these. He called it a «‘duh’ question» when asked if he wanted Irving on the team.
The Los Angeles Clippers are said to have already made the Nets a «strong offer,» according to The Athletic. The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are also rumored as possible destinations.
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After starting the year 2-5, Brooklyn won 16 of 18 games from Nov. 27-Jan. 4, and Irving has been key to that. But he was suspended earlier this season for tweeting an anti-Semitic movie and didn’t apologize immediately afterward. He missed eight games.