Getty Lakers-Manager Rob Pelinka
Kyrie Irving isn’t the only former NBA All-Star to be linked with the Los Angeles Lakers as free agency begins June 30, 2022. NBA insider Marc Stein reported that while the Lakers aren’t interested in trading Russell Westbrook for Wall, the team would potentially pursue the point guard as a free agent if he can strike a takeover agreement with the Rockets.
“Yet rumors are circulating about Wall’s return as an active player next season,” Stein wrote on June 26. “This week was the first time in a while that I’ve heard serious murmurs that Wall had successfully negotiated a buyout with the Rockets his season on the sidelines — assuming Houston continues to fail to find a trading partner for a Wall deal.
“…Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat if he can finally make it to the open market has been mentioned for months. I was also told that the Lakers — who continue to be reluctant to trade Russell Westbrook to Houston for Wall by including draft capital as a sweetener for the Rockets — would consider Wall as a candidate for the list if he suddenly spoke about the buyout market would be available.”
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Could Wall be a backup option for Irving? PlayWoj: There are no sign-and-trade candidates for Kyrie outside of the Lakers | NBA TodayAdrian Wojnarowski is on NBA Today to discuss a number of blockbuster moves that could happen during NBA free agency, most notably those of Kyrie Irving’s future. #ESPN #NBAonESPN #NBAToday ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+: plus.espn.com/ 📱 Download ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn 🏀 Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/2yxs3Og ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: …2022-06-27T19:15:01Z
The Lakers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Irving, but it seems the team’s longshot chances are even slimmer as the guard opts for his current deal with the Nets. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Irving has no plans to push for a trade and will bid for the Nets in 2022-23. Unless Irving changes his mind, the point guard will become a free agent in 2023.
“Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving decides on his $37M player option for 2022-23 season, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned,” Charania tweeted on June 27. “Irving bypasses multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant.”
Wall hasn’t played since the 2020/21 seasonChris Broussard explains why Lakers should trade Russell Westbrook for John WallChris Broussard explains why Lakers should trade Russell Westbrook for John Wall2022-06-23T12:59:52Z
The Rockets guard sat out the entire 2021-22 season as Houston’s front office tried unsuccessfully to trade the five-time All-Star. Wall averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals over his 40 appearances in the 2020-21 season while shooting 31.7% from the three-point line.
Wall has struggled with injuries in recent years but the best-case scenario for his next team is that the guard, like Al Horford, can benefit from a season of rest. The Celtics center only played 28 games for the Thunder in 2020-21 before moving to Boston and becoming a key factor in reaching the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are more than $40 million over the cap, according to Spotrac, and could not offer Wall a lucrative contract because their maximum option is the taxpayer exemption. It will be worth seeing how aggressive the Lakers are when Wall becomes a free agent given their limited financial resources.
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