Report: Spurs trade ‘closest to happening’ involves Kyrie Irving to Lakers and Russell Westbrook to San Antonio

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have been rumored to be pursuing Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving this offseason.

In order to get a deal done, the Lakers would likely need to part ways with Russell Westbrook’s massive salary for the 2022-23 season. It’s possible that a third team that has enough cap space to absorb Westbrook’s deal could get involved in a potential trade.

The San Antonio Spurs are a team with a huge amount of cap space following their trade of Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks this offseason.

“How do the Spurs plan to use their cap space? wrote SpursTalk’s LJ Ellis. “The Spurs are actively looking to rent out their cap space in exchange for draft capital. With All-Stars like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell on the trade market, the Spurs are hoping to be handsomely rewarded for helping to facilitate the acquisition of one of those big names.”

Ellis added more insight.

“According to multiple sources, the trade that is closest to happening involves Kyrie Irving being sent to the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook being routed to the Spurs,” Ellis wrote. “To facilitate that trade, the sources tell me the Spurs want an unprotected first round pick from the Lakers.”

In this scenario, the Lakers would still need to give draft capital in order to move off of Westbrook’s deal, but a third team like the Spurs entering the fray would help the issue of Brooklyn not wanting Westbrook on its roster.

The Lakers missed the playoffs in the 2021-22 season, and Westbrook didn’t exactly fit well next to superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He finished the 2021-22 season averaging 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 Spurs clearly are going to need the incentive of draft capital to take on Westbrook for the 2022-23 season, but it may be worth the price for a Lakers team that is trying to maximize the last year of James’ contract with the team.

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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.