The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a potential Kyrie Irving trade since the offseason, and the opportunity to deal for the talented but controversial point guard once again presented itself when he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets this past week. However, it wasn’t the Lakers, but rather the Dallas Mavericks who were able to swing a deal for Irving.
Irving was sent to Dallas in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and a pair of second-round draft picks. With LeBron James seemingly itching to bring Irving on board, many were disappointed at the Lakers failure to come to terms on a deal. But it seems as if the front office was not willing to part with all the assets Brooklyn was asking for.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Nets asked for guard Austin Reaves and other assets in addition to Russell Westbrook and the two first-round picks and the Lakers basically shut off negotiations after, via FanDuel TV:
“He asked out for a trade on Friday. There were principal differences with the franchise I’m told. He did not feel like he deserved stipulations in a contract extension like they offered him. So he requested out on Friday and immediately once that trade request was made, everyone around the league looked at the Lakers. We’ve been talking about the Lakers for eight months, they’ve had multiple opportunities here to try to engage with the Nets, and I’m told they put together an offer of Russell Westbrook, two first round draft picks, and the Nets asked for Austin Reaves and other assets. What’s interesting here is I’m told that the Lakers never really countered with Reaves or any other asset in these trade negotiations, they really stayed firm with Russell Westbrook and those two first-round picks and the Nets did not hear from them on Sunday, the day of the Kyrie Irving trade.
“And so, when you look around at the different offers that were made, Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, the draft capital, that allowed them to go and really compete. And bringing in a guy like Spencer Dinwiddie, can be a number one or number two option, Dorian Finney-Smith can really do anything on the floor. So to them, that gave them more value than the Lakers deal or Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and a pick. They feel like the Mavericks deal is best for them to try to continue to compete this season.”
The Nets wanted pieces back in the Irving deal that would help them continue to compete right now and the Lakers couldn’t really offer that. As such, the Nets asked for more assets such as Reaves, Max Christie and more draft compensation, but the Lakers weren’t willing to give up that much for a player who is an unrestricted free agent this summer and could choose to sign with the franchise outright.
The two sides seemed to be on different pages, with each sticking to their guns. But now the pressure will be on Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office to find an alternative move to make in order to improve this roster before Thursday’s deadline.
Lakers exploring potential Russell Westbrook deal with Utah Jazz
One of those potential alternatives could be a deal with the Utah Jazz. The Lakers are reportedly discussing a potential trade that could bring back veteran point guard Mike Conley, 3-and-D wing Malik Beasley and defensive specialist Jarred Vanderbilt in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
This deal would make a ton of sense for the Lakers as it would bring back multiple rotational pieces that fill needs, greatly improving the team’s depth and all would be natural fits next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!