Draymond: Lakers ‘won’t beat us’ even if they acquire Kyrie

Posted: 27/06/2022 in NBA
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Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green thinks the Los Angeles Lakers would need more than Kyrie Irving to beat the reigning champions.

“They could contend, but they won’t beat us,” Green told Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw.

The Lakers are reportedly the “most significant threat” to land Irving if he decides to depart the Brooklyn Nets. The 30-year-old has a $36.5-million player option for the 2022-2023 season.

However, L.A. currently lacks the financial flexibility to give Irving anything close to the value of his player option, as the franchise can only offer the $6-million taxpayer exception.

Irving and Lakers superstar LeBron James played three seasons together with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2017. The tandem led the Cavs to their lone championship in 2016, defeating Green and the Warriors in a famous comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

The Warriors have bested the James-Irving pairing in the past, winning championships in 2015 and 2017.

Irving requested a trade in the summer of 2017 and was shipped off to the Boston Celtics. He said in May that the Cavaliers would have won more championships if he stayed with James in Cleveland. James and the Kyrie-less Cavs were swept by the Warriors in 2018.

“With LeBron, if you give him someone like Kyrie … they’ll have a chance because of the way Kyrie can score the basketball,” Green added. “LeBron will only put him in position to do that. Kyrie has not proven to be a great leader. LeBron will put an umbrella over that.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs for the second time during LeBron’s tenure this past season, finishing 33-49.

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