The NBA world got a major shock on Friday when it was reported that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the team. In news that will likely come as joyous to many Los Angeles Lakers fans, the Lakers appear to be in the hunt.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023
Irving reportedly has an interest in the Lakers as well.
ESPN Sources: Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023
Irving is likely the most talented player available on the pre-deadline market, and his availability poses a massive opportunity for the Lakers. With all that in mind, it is important to note that the Lakers are reportedly mixed on offering Irving a massive extension by the end of this season.
“They’re not so sure about trading for him and giving him a 200 million dollar contract at season’s end.”
– ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Lakers interest in Kyrie Irving
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) February 3, 2023
Just minutes before the reports came out linking the Lakers to Irving, Tristan Thompson, a former teammate to both LeBron James and Irving, came forward to claim that the polarizing point guard is the missing piece for the Lakers.
"This is the piece that gets the Lakers back to the promised land. This is the guy that's gonna get them over the top."
— 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐧' 𝐍𝐁𝐀 (@_Talkin_NBA) February 3, 2023
Despite the baggage that Irving comes with, there is absolutely no doubt that he would raise the ceiling for the Lakers.
Adding him to the starting lineup would give the Lakers three superstars on the floor. In fact, a Big 3 of James, Irving and Anthony Davis would arguably challenge to be one of the most talented trios in recent years.
On the season, the Duke University product is putting up 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field and 37.4 percent shooting from deep. The fact that the Lakers might be able to get that kind of player for a favorable deal is a major development.
As many NBA fans will remember well, Thompson, Irving and James won an NBA title together in 2016 as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That was the team that managed to come back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors and win in stunning fashion.
It would be pretty amazing to see James and Irving team up all these years later.
When it comes to what the Lakers would have to send away in order to land Irving, it stands to reason that at least one of their future first-round draft picks would have to be in the mix. The Lakers would also likely try to include Russell Westbrook in the trade as well.
If Westbrook were to be a part of a trade for Irving, another iconic duo from the league’s past would be reformed as a byproduct. Westbrook and Kevin Durant were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder many years ago at the start of their NBA careers.
Such a trade would be a major NBA story and likely cause quite a stir amongst fans all over the world.