Kyrie Irving didn't seem to have a robust trade market in the offseason, but with the deadline mere days away, it appears as though several teams are attempting to trade for the mercurial guard. The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks were reported quickly as possible candidates, but on Saturday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that another team, the Los Angeles Clippers, have entered the fray.
According to The Athletic's Law Murray, the Clippers have made a "strong offer" for Irving, and coach Ty Lue, who won a championship with Irving in Cleveland, is open to coaching him again. According to Wojnarowski, the Nets are proceeding as though they are determined to find a deal for Irving ahead of the deadline.
What exactly constitutes a strong offer from the Clippers is not clear. Because of their obligations to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Paul George trade, they can trade only a single first-round pick in either 2028 or 2029, though they can include swap rights on the other year as well as 2027. Their only young player who has proven much is Terance Mann, who has become a vital part of the team's rotation.
What the Clippers do have is a deep collection of veteran wings that could theoretically help the Nets win now if they plan to continue contending after trading Irving. Players like Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Luke Kennard and Norman Powell would all help Brooklyn in the short-term, and all have movable mid-tier salaries if the Nets want to make a multi-team trade.
The Clippers have been desperately seeking a point guard thus far this deadline season, but have largely looked at more pure point-style options like Mike Conley and Fred VanVleet. That isn't Irving. He's a scoring guard who doesn't offer too much as a playmaker, but he makes up for that by creating critical rim pressure. The Clippers have been near the bottom of the league in terms of points in the paint several years in a row now. That makes it harder for them to maximize all of their shooting. Irving could bend defenses in ways that would create open shots for everyone else.
With so many teams in the running, the Nets will have options here. If this turns into a bidding war, the Clippers are going to have a hard time keeping up with teams that can throw multiple picks and young players at Brooklyn. But if the Clippers can get this thing done, they'd immediately become Western Conference favorites.