An anonymous NBA executive suggested an interesting three-team trade that would send Kyrie Irving to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“You could do three teams, Kyrie to the Lakers, Gobert to Brooklyn, and Russ to Utah, with the Jazz probably buying him out,” the executive said to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “That’s a longshot, though.
“It could be something that happens during the season, if the Nets get on the court and things go sideways — Ben Simmons is still not healthy, [Kevin] Durant is not happy, they’re struggling. At that point, the Nets are pretty much out of leverage, and the Lakers could send Westbrook and a pick for Kyrie, and it’s doubtful the Nets would get a better deal. Again, it is a long shot, but it is realistic.”
Irving decided to opt into his player option with the Nets to come back for the 2022-23 season, but the executive believes there is still a chance for the Lakers to pry him away.
Irving has missed time with injuries over the last few seasons, and last year he appeared in just 29 games during the 2021-22 regular season. The seven-time All-Star was unable to play in Nets’ home games for a good chunk of the season due to his vaccination status.
Despite that, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Lakers would love to get off of the final year of Westbrook’s deal, as he struggled to fit in with the roster last season.
However, the trade proposal appears to be contingent on the Jazz deciding to blow things up and trading Gobert. It’s hard to see the Jazz doing that without any real assets coming back to the team.
Irving and the Lakers will likely continue to be linked throughout the offseason and into the 2022-23 season.