The week-long story about Kyrie Irving becoming an unexpected free agent rocked the basketball world extremely hard. Everyone started to come up with hypothetical trade situations. Eventually, it was revealed that Irving was most interested in going to the Lakers and playing alongside old teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The rumors of Kyrie going to the Lakers and being willing to take a $30 million pay cut ran amok as Lakers fans believed they found their unexpected savior in Irving after a season where they missed the Playoffs. There was increased reporting on the mutual interest between LA and Kyrie, with Adrian Wojnarowski also saying that the Lakers were the only team to bid for a sign-and-trade for Irving.
Irving unexpectedly was announced to be returning to the Nets for the final year of his contract by Shams Charania, squashing the growing rumors of a LeBron-Kyrie reunion in LA. Fans had a great time watching the Lakers' big offseason ploy fail and mocked the team and LBJ for missing out on Kyrie.
It doesn't seem like the Lakers even knew they would have a chance to pursue Irving until the contract extension talks fell through last week. It isn't like the team had put in significant resources in making this deal a reality. Either way, it is tough to hear news like this about a coveted target.
Irving going back to honor his word this season doesn't imply anything for the next, as he will definitely be looking at a possible exit then. Unless the Nets and Irving can finally agree on contract length.
Some suggest that Irving could still be traded. If that is the case, LA should stay by the phone for as long as possible to make sure that they don't miss a call from Brooklyn about the availability of Irving.