Why Kyrie Irving joining Lakers may be good for the Bulls

Kyrie Irving, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The drama seems to follow Kyrie Irving wherever he goes, doesn’t it? As arguably one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NBA, it’s a shame that he’s simultaneously so difficult to root for. If it’s any consolation, Irving wreaking havoc on the Brooklyn Nets this summer might just end up being the best thing that could happen to the Chicago Bulls.

What started as just a simple bargaining tactic to secure a long-term maximum extension for Irving, has quickly become an attempted hostile takeover of Brooklyn’s front office decision-making. Up to this point, Kyrie and superstar Kevin Durant have shown nothing but solidarity with the Nets. But in typical Kyrie fashion, it’s all coming crumbling down.

Now, Irving is reportedly threatening to opt out of his player option for next season to take a massive pay cut and join the Los Angeles Lakers on a $6 million deal. As the Vice President of the NBA Player’s Association, this is an extremely bad look and will likely have long-term ramifications during the next bargaining agreement. But still, it may be enough to force Brooklyn’s hand to sign-and-trade Irving and recoup what little they can.

One thing’s for certain, if Kyrie Irving goes this summer, so does Kevin Durant. And this here is exactly how the Bulls can capitalize.

The Chicago Bulls could use the chaos caused by Kyrie Irving to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference pecking order.

To start with the obvious here, if Durant were to hit the trade market, the Bulls would be fools to not at least entertain proposing a trade. With several stars and promising players on the roster, I don’t doubt that Chicago could put together a compelling package for Durant. Among all the options the Bulls have at their disposal this summer, trading for Durant would be the simplest and most effective way to immediately turn this team into a title contender.

A trade centered around one of the Bulls’ current stars like DeMar DeRozan and a promising young player such as Lonzo Ball or Patrick Williams would immediately be a more compelling offer than most other teams could offer. However, Chicago is lacking in the future draft capital that other teams could offer and Brooklyn would most likely be prioritizing.

Maybe that’s a good thing, considering former Nets assistant general manager and ESPN insider Bobby Marks believes a trade for KD “would be the largest in league history.”

In that case, it may be better for the Bulls to stick to their guns. But even if Durant is traded, the Bulls stand to benefit here. According to Vegas, teams like the Suns, Grizzlies, Clippers, and Trail Blazers are the odds-on favorites to land Durant in a trade. If KD coming to Chicago is the “best-case” scenario, this isn’t such a bad consolation.

With the Eastern Conference looking better than ever as of late, a summer where two top talents like Durant and Irving flee to the Western Conference should be seen as a small victory. The Bulls are going to need every little boost they can get to improve on last season’s 46-36 record and prove that when healthy, this team can compete for real.

It’s enough having to worry about running into the Joel Embiids, Giannis Antetokounmpos, and the Jimmy Butlers of the basketball world in the postseason. For that reason, I would not mind it one bit if the Brooklyn Nets imploded and made advancing in next year’s playoffs a slightly more manageable task.

dark. Next. Chicago Bulls receive glowing 2022 NBA Draft grades