3. LA Clippers
The LA Clippers were interested in Kyrie Irving and reportedly made a significant offer back in February before the Nets traded him to Dallas. Owner Steve Ballmer is not afraid to spend, and the Clippers could be eager to shake things up after a first-round playoff exit.
The new CBA could play a massive role here. There is now a second tax apron designed at keeping teams for wild spending, and the Clippers are one of the two franchises facing immediate penalties. It could restrict their ability to trade this summer, and it may have an impact on their interest in Kyrie.
LA could offer a sign-and-trade package for Kyrie, but making the math work is nearly impossible without giving up Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. Pulling off a sign-and-trade hard caps the team for that year. This year, the figure was $156.9 million. The Clippers are projected to have a payroll of over $200 million next season.
LA would have to completely retool their roster to get Kyrie Irving. Would they be willing to do it? Does the eight-time All-Star give the Clippers a better chance to contend next to Kawhi than PG13? Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue knows Irving well from their time in Cleveland together where the Cavaliers won the title in 2016. Acquiring Kyrie would be a bold move by LA, but crazier things have happened in the NBA.