With the Nets in a tough position now that Kevin Durant has requested a trade, the Lakers reportedly are “desperate” to trade Westbrook for Irving.
“The Lakers are desperate to move Russell Westbrook and his gargantuan $47 million contract for Irving, but are hesitating to include the multiple draft picks the Nets would want for taking on all that money,” the New York Post’s Brian Lewis wrote.
It’s no secret that the Lakers want to move off of the final year of Westbrook’s deal after he struggled last season.
During the 2021-22 campaign, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The former MVP struggled at times to find his footing in the Lakers offense, and Los Angeles may not want to waste another year of LeBron James’ career by running it back with the same core group in the 2022-23 season.
Irving, who won a title with James during their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, would be a much better fit for the Lakers on the court. Irving has issues off the floor, as he only played in 29 games last season due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Still, 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.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers cave and give up the necessary draft capital to bring Irving to Los Angeles this offseason.