Report: Lakers are trying to figure out whether Kyrie Irving’s trade request is legitimate or not

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are trying to figure out if Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s trade request is legitimate ahead of the league’s Feb. 9 trade deadline.

“The first discussion the Lakers are having — and I know they’re already having it — is, ‘Is this real or not?'” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said. “If they determine yes to that answer, then it’s, ‘Can we stomach this?’”

The Lakers would almost certainly have to part ways with future draft capital in order to acquire Irving, but it may be worth it to pair him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis going forward.

Irving, who picked up his player option for the 2022-23 season with the Nets this past offseason, has been unable to agree on a long-term deal with the team. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the coming offseason.

For the Lakers, it may make sense to trade for Irving, who is still playing at an elite level despite missing some time this season for off-the-court issues.

Irving was named an All-Star starter this season, and he’s been carrying a big load lately with Kevin Durant sidelined due to a knee injury.

The Nets don’t have to trade Irving by the Feb. 9 deadline, but if they choose to keep him, then they run the risk that he leaves the franchise for nothing in the offseason.

This season, Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Irving and James already have history together from their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they won an NBA title as teammates in the 2015-16 season.

Adding Irving’s shooting, scoring and playmaking to the Lakers offense would be a massive boost at the deadline. The team has lacked a truly dominant perimeter presence, with guards like Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley struggling with their shooting this season.

If the Lakers do determine that Irving’s trade request is legit, it will be up to Rob Pelinka and company to sit down and hammer out a deal if they want Irving to be a Laker this season.

Los Angeles is currently outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, but the West is so tight that adding Irving could lead to the Lakers making a quick run into a playoff spot.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.