Clippers rumors: Kyrie Irving on Clippers radar

Kawhi Leonard & Kyrie Irving (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard & Kyrie Irving (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

The sudden impending free agency of Kyrie Irving has left many around the league scrambling. With only one year left on his current contract, Irving is likely to decline his near $37 million player option. Originally, Irving was hopeful that he would re-sign with his current team, the Brooklyn Nets, for max dollars. However, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, both Irving and the Nets are at an “impasse.”

Although Irving’s play has been breathtaking since first joining Brooklyn in 2019, averaging 27.1 points per game over that three-year stretch, the petulant point guard has made his services unavailable more times than the Nets would like.

Due to his long injury history and mercurial personality, Brooklyn is reportedly unwilling to offer Irving a long-term deal. As countless teams are now waiting patiently to see how things will play out, the LA Clippers have joined in on the watch party.

LA Clippers throwing their name in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes

In addition to the Clippers showing interest, Charania reports that both the Lakers and Knicks have protruded to the front of the line as well.

This past season, Irving was up to his normal pernicious ways on the court. The former multiple-time All-Star dropped a cool 27.4 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists a night. Nevertheless, despite his penchant for taking and making big shots, Irving was embroiled in controversy.

Well before the 2021-22 season officially kicked off, Irving refused to take the Covid-19 vaccination. In doing so, Brooklyn placed Irving on the bench as opposed to allowing him to play on just the road. Ultimately, due to their championship craving, Brooklyn eventually acquiesced to his demands, allowing him to become a part-time player until he was eventually allowed to play home games with New York lifting their vaccine mandate. Still, despite returning to the court full-time, Irving’s Nets flamed out in the playoffs, losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round via sweep.

As for the Clippers, their interest in Irving doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. With Tyronn Lue leading the charge at the head coaching position, Lue and Irving have long had a tight relationship with one another. Having coached Irving for a season in the half, the two, along with LeBron James, of course, pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title and Finals appearance.

This past season was a rough one for Lue. Kawhi Leonard, LA’s star player, missed the entirety of the season with a torn ACL. Paul George, their All-Star second in command, missed 51 games of his own due to torn ligaments in his right elbow. With both players expected to return to full health before the start of next season, LA has lofty goals bestowed upon their shoulders. Be that as it may, it appears as though the Clippers could be willing to move heaven and earth to add Irving to their championship-laden roster.

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