Report: Lakers not willing to include Austin Reaves or Max Christie in potential Kyrie Irving deal

David Akerman
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are being linked to Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving, who recently requested a trade from the team.

Naturally, Lakers fans have been starting to think about what it might take to land the All-Star point guard. Those trade packages should not include Austin Reaves or Max Christie, as it seems like the Lakers want to hold onto both of them.

“The situation remains fluid,” wrote Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “The going cost to get a team to take on [Russell] Westbrook and his $47.1 million salary has been one first-round pick at a minimum since last summer. But given Irving’s on-court pedigree and play this season, the Lakers would almost certainly have to include both first-round picks. Protecting one of those picks could result in the Nets asking for the Lakers to perhaps include Austin Reaves or Max Christie, two of the Lakers’ promising young role players. But the Lakers aren’t interested in including either in a potential package, according to those sources.”

It makes sense why the Lakers don’t want to include either of the youngsters in a trade for Irving. After all, they could end up playing key roles for the team in the future.

Furthermore, giving up first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 drafts would hurt the Lakers’ chances of adding young talent to the roster in the future. Reaves is just 24 years old while Christie is still only 19.

Reaves already has a solidified role in the rotation, as he’s playing 28.9 minutes per game this season. However, he’s been out since early January with a hamstring injury. The second-year pro was recording 10.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest prior to going on the shelf.

He’s set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but it was recently reported that Lakers are expected to look at retaining him.

During his short time with the Purple and Gold, the University of Oklahoma product has become a fan favorite. Surely, plenty of fans would be sad to see him go in a deal for Irving.

As for Christie, he hasn’t carved out a big role for the Lakers just yet, though he has seen action in 33 games this season and is getting 14.5 minutes of playing time per contest.

In that limited time, he’s proven that he has some potential to be a decent two-way player. He’s recording 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game while knocking down 43.0 percent of his shots from the field and 42.6 percent of his attempts from 3-point range.

Lakers fans will have to wait and see if Rob Pelinka and company pull the trigger on a deal for Irving. The trade deadline is set for Feb. 9, so time is quickly running out.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.