While the Lakers apparently didn't provide the best offer, there is another reported reason that the Nets didn't trade Kyrie Irving to LA. Jan 30, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley (21) shakes hands with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) after fouling him during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA was jolted by Sunday’s news that the Brooklyn Nets had traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. Naturally, this was bad news to the Los Angeles Lakers, who seemed to be among the leading contenders to land Irving, with LeBron James hinting that he’d welcome a reunion with his former Cleveland Cavaliers running mate. So, what happened?

One, while the Lakers reportedly offered Brooklyn a pair of first-round draft picks, the Nets also wanted players, not wanting to undercut a potentially deep playoff run this season. The second reason? Irving wanted to go to Los Angeles and Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai didn’t want to accommodate him.

“Latest report from @TheSteinLine confirms that one of Joe Tsai’s presumed objectives in a Kyrie trade was to not send him to his preferred landing spot: the Lakers,” Trevor Lane of LakersNation tweeted on Sunday, citing a report from Marc Stein.

Basketball fans generally admired the Nets for their pettiness.



From a human perspective, it’s easy to understand why the Nets would do this. Irving has been a consistent headache to Brooklyn since joining the team in 2019. The drama around his support of an antisemitic film earlier this season was only the latest in a seemingly never-ending stream of drama.

On the other hand, while it’s one thing for players and even coaches to be petty, it’s not a great look for a front office.

When trading Irving, the Nets had one job, getting the best offer for the team. It’s completely fair to say that the Los Angeles offer was not as good as the one offered by the Mavericks. So, there’s really no criticizing Tsai and company for not trading Irving to the Lakers. But if spiting Irving was even a remote thought, that’s not the sign of a strong front office, even if the right move was eventually reached.

[Trevor Lane on Twitter]

About Michael Dixon

About Michael:
-- Writer/editor for thecomeback.com and awfulannouncing.com.
-- Bay Area born and raised, currently living in the Indianapolis area.
-- Twitter:
@mfdixon1985 (personal).
@michaeldixonsports (work).
-- Email: mdixon@thecomeback.com
Send tips, corrections, comments and (respectful) disagreements to that email. Do the same with pizza recommendations, taco recommendations and Seinfeld quotes.