The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason has gone quiet since the initial hoopla over a potential Kyrie Irving deal — with the team’s leadership reportedly wanting to stay prudent in dealing with their trade assets.
All signs point to the Lakers still trying to part with Russell Westbrook after the nightmare 2021-22 season. Irving has been their main target throughout the summer. However, L.A.’s unwillingness to include multiple first-round draft picks in the deal seems to have caused the saga to drag on.
But that could change soon, as New York Daily News writer Kristian Winfield reports the Lakers are slowly softening their stance on trading picks:
Elsewhere, there doesn’t appear to be much traction on a Durant deal, though the Los Angeles Lakers are now reportedly willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving. Earlier in the offseason, the Nets were unwilling to take back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their stance remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.
It’s been long speculated that adding another first-rounder could make the Brooklyn Nets reconsider taking on Westbrook. Besides, Brooklyn’s leverage in trade talks for Irving and Kevin Durant has taken a hit after the latter reportedly told Nets owner Joe Tsai to pick between him or general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.
And Tsai seems to have pushed back on Durant’s ultimatum, coming out with a public statement of support for his team’s front office and coaching staff.
Rob Pelinka reportedly vowed to use every resource to improve roster
While the Lakers continue pursuing their trade targets, they also have to take care of LeBron James’ contract extension. James is yet to put pen to paper and before he does that, he reportedly wanted reassurances L.A. would do anything to become competitive again.
And vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka is believed to have promised the four-time NBA champion he will “provide him with every resource possible” to compete for the title for as long as the All-Star remains with the organization.
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