Kyrie Irving sent shock waves through the NBA world on Friday by requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
The All-Star point guard wants to be dealt before the league’s Feb. 9 trade deadline, and if the Nets don’t honor his request, he intends to leave the franchise in the upcoming offseason.
Naturally, Irving has already been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, who expressed interest in trading for him this past offseason when the Duke University product was given permission by the Nets to seek sign-and-trade deals with other teams.
Lakers insider Jovan Buha offered some details regarding what a potential Lakers trade for Irving might look like.
“The Lakers have interest in acquiring Irving, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity to speak freely on the subject,” Buha wrote. “The framework of a potential deal would be Russell Westbrook and the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks — with the Lakers pushing to add lottery protection to at least one of them — in exchange for Irving and another Nets role player (likely Joe Harris), according to those sources. Depending on how the Nets value the Lakers’ picks and what happens with Kevin Durant in the wake of this news, the Lakers could reroute one of their picks to a third team, who would then send additional players to Brooklyn to help the Nets remain competitive.”
The Lakers’ first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 have long been viewed as very valuable trade assets. Therefore, it makes sense why the franchise’s front office hasn’t parted ways with them.
Back in August, it was reported that LeBron James had been assured that the Lakers would deal the picks if they found a trade that would make them contenders again.
Maybe a trade for Irving is the one they’ve been waiting so patiently for. Los Angeles reportedly believes that it is at least one move away from getting back to contender status this season. A deal for Irving would undoubtedly make the Lakers one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
The 30-year-old continues to prove that he is still one of the best point guards in the league, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season.
Getting Harris in the deal would be good for the Lakers as well. With a possible lineup of Irving, James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers would need shooters to space the floor. Shooting is arguably Harris’ best skill, as he’s a career 43.6 percent shooter from deep.
It seems like the Lakers might be split on whether or not to trade for Irving. Trading two first-round picks so far into the future is certainly a risky move, but it might be worth it. The Lakers might also be worried about Irving’s well-documented history of causing issues off the court.
“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
With the clock ticking and the trade deadline getting closer and closer, plenty of eyes will be paying attention to what Rob Pelinka and company do.