NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving Requests Trade From Nets Ahead Of Deadline; Lakers Expected To Have Interest
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving’s situation with the Brooklyn Nets is something the Los Angeles Lakers have been monitoring since he requested a trade last summer.

The Lakers were hoping that Irving and the Nets’ discontent would lead to them being able to acquire the star point guard for Russell Westbrook and draft compensation, although Brooklyn had no interest in Westbrook at the time.

It seemed that the Nets had worked things out though as they convinced both Kevin Durant and Irving to stay and have been playing better in recent weeks. Irving was suspended at the beginning of the year for anti-Semitic remarks but has been playing at an All-NBA level since he returned.

Despite that though, it appears there is still friction in the Nets organization. It was recently reported that Irving approached the Nets about an extension, and it looks like he didn’t like their answer. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving has requested a trade ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline.

While it looked like the Lakers had moved on from Irving after they were unable to deal for him last summer, those talks could be revisited within the organization, per Dan Woike of the L.A. Times:

The Lakers’ interest in Irving, which seems to be mutual, was confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

In addition to the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks are emerging as interested teams:

As the Lakers continue to look for roster upgrades to get back into championship contention, Irving makes all the sense in the world from a basketball perspective. He is in the midst of one of his best seasons, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists with 48.6/37.4/88.3 shooting splits.

It’s no secret that Irving is a huge headache off the court though, as evidenced by this new trade request. So L.A. will have to decide if that’s something worth dealing with.

LeBron James and Irving remain close with the latter recently praising the former after the Lakers’ game against the Nets, so it seems clear where L.A.’s superstar would land on this. He reportedly was advocating for the Lakers to trade for his former teammate last summer.

There weren’t any teams outside of the Lakers that had interest in Irving last summer. Although that could be different now given his high level of play, Irving still has some leverage considering he is about to become a free agent and can tell interested teams he won’t re-sign with them if he doesn’t want to go there.

It’s known that Irving would welcome a trade to the Lakers given his relationship with James and the late, great Kobe Bryant. That could make negotiating easier for Rob Pelinka, if the Nets are willing to accommodate Irving’s trade request.

Lakers talking with Jazz about Westbrook trade

It was also reported this morning that the Lakers and Utah Jazz have recently talked about a Westbrook trade, which may or may not be related to this Irving situation.

If Brooklyn still isn’t interested in Westbrook then L.A. may need to find a third team to take him on. In this scenario, that would be the Jazz with them sending pieces to the Nets that can keep Brooklyn in contention.

It remains to be seen how much draft capital would be involved and where it would go, but that may be something worth monitoring between now and the Feb. 9 deadline.

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