The biggest question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason continues to be whether or not the team will be able to swing a deal for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. So far, the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have yet to come to terms on an agreement that would likely have to include a third team in order to take on the contract of Russell Westbrook.
Another holdup for the Lakers has been their reluctance to include multiple future first-round picks in order to deal Westbrook away. With the team already giving away so much to acquire Anthony Davis, the front office does not want to mortgage their future, especially with LeBron James unlikely to be around by the time those picks come up.
What is still unclear is exactly what the Nets are asking for in a potential Irving deal. According to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group, the Lakers could possibly add Irving while giving up only one of their two available first-round draft picks in addition to other compensation:
Sources have told Southern California News Group that the price for Irving (who has his own limited market for his services) would involve at least one of the two tradeable first-round draft picks the Lakers have in 2027 or 2029, as well as more second-round draft compensation.
The Lakers have been hesitant to tack on draft compensation just to get rid of Westbrook, but if they can bring in Irving in a deal for just one of their 2027 or 2029 first-round picks and other second-rounders, it feels like something the front office has to jump on. While it has been reported that Westbrook, James and Anthony Davis are all committed to figuring things out, it can not be argued that Irving is a better basketball fit and would raise the Lakers championship ceiling.
As was noted, the market for Irving is very limited right now due to his own injury history among other factors that teams don’t want to deal with. Both the Lakers and Nets need a resolution which is why they have been linked together all offseason, but neither seems to be giving in to the other’s demands.
Whether or not the Nets will even trade Irving remains to be seen as it will likely depend on if they keep or trade Kevin Durant.
The Lakers are very wary of mortgaging their future too much, but a deal that costs them just one first-round pick while swapping out Westbrook for Irving would be extremely hard to pass up.
Lakers have backup plans for Irving
If the Lakers are unable to acquire Irving then they reportedly still view trading for Buddy Hield, Eric Gordon or Patrick Beverley as potential backup plans.
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