According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, there isn’t any traction on a Lakers-Nets deal surrounding Irving.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 5, 2022
It was reported that the Lakers are “desperate” to get a deal done for Irving by moving Russell Westbrook, but the team apparently would have to give up draft capital as well to get the deal done.
Irving would be a major upgrade for the Lakers at the point guard position, but he only played in 29 games last season due to his vaccination status. Irving has one year left on his contract after he opted into his player option for the 2022-23 campaign earlier this offseason.
Los Angeles is looking to improve its roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis ahead of the 2022-23 regular season. Westbrook was a precarious fit on the roster last season, as he struggled playing off the ball with James.
Last season, 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.
While the Lakers could run things back with Westbrook on the roster, they could waste another year of James’ career by doing that. Los Angeles missed the playoffs in the 2021-22 season partly because James and Davis went down with injuries for big chunks of the campaign.
It will be interesting to see how the Irving situation unfolds throughout the rest of the offseason.