With Kyrie Irving reportedly asking out of Brooklyn before Thursday's trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers are the favored destination for the Nets' star guard by at least one sportsbook.
The Lakers were installed as the 200 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to land Irving shortly after news brokeon Friday that he had requested a trade. The next shortest odds belonged to the Miami Heat (300) followed by the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers at 375.
In all, the sportsbook was offering odds on 10 potential destinations, although a return to Boston was "jokingly" put on the bottom of the board. The mercurial playmaker had a two-season stint with the Celtics from 2017-19.
Kyrie Irving Next Team Odds
Los Angeles Lakers (200)
Miami Heat (300)
Dallas Mavericks (375)
Los Angeles Clippers (375)
Chicago Bulls (650)
Atlanta Hawks (750)
Utah Jazz (800)
Minnesota Timberwolves (1400)
Sacramento Kings (1600)
Boston Celtics (10000)
The Lakers (25-28) are currently in 12th place in the Western Conference, but they are only a game out of a potential spot in the play-in tournament. They are also only 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the sixth spot that would guarantee a full playoff series.
Irving would provide a third weapon to team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, presumably filling the role that Russell Westbrook didn't quite fit the past two seasons. It also would mark a reunion with James, with whom Irving played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-17.
The Mavericks (28-25) currently occupy the No. 4 spot in the West, 8 1/2 games behind the Denver Nuggets. They are only a game ahead of the top teams in the play-in positions, and star guard Luka Doncic is dealing with a heel injury that is expected to sideline him at least for the start of Dallas' upcoming five-game road trip.
The Heat also would make sense with Miami (29-24) clinging to the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference entering Friday. They are 8.5 games back of the Celtics and just three games behind the Nets for the fourth seed. However, the Knicks (28-25) and Hawks (26-26) are among the teams nipping at the Heat's heels.
Along with Irving's trade request, the Nets were informed that he had no interest in staying with the organization after his contract expires in July.
This season alone has been a rocky ride for Irving, who still has managed to score 27.1 points per game with 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 40 contests despite off-the-court issues.
Irving was suspended by the Nets on Nov. 3 following his social media posts that promoted a movie featuring antisemitic themes. He sat out eight games and apologized before he returned, while saying, "I'm not anti-Jewish or any of that."
The incident led to Nike ending its eight-year partnership with Irving, who turns 31 next month.
In the 2021-22 season, Irving did not make his debut until Jan. 5 after refusing to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Even after he returned, he was not able to play in home games because of COVID-19 protocols in New York City. He didn't make his home season debut until March.
In total, Irving played in just 29 games in 2021-22, averaging 27.4 points with 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds. Irving's lack of availability reportedly led to a rift with former teammate James Harden, who was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers a year ago.
In 12 NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2011-17), Celtics (2017-19) and Nets, Irving has averaged 23.3 points with 5.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds. He won his only NBA title in 2016 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, while playing alongside James.
After he was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011 out of Duke, Irving earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2012. He was also the All-Star Game MVP in 2014.
--Field Level Media