Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant took the NBA world by storm just before the start of free agency, letting it be known that he has requested a trade.
The ripple effect of that across the league has been huge as teams are now preparing trade offers for Durant, while the expectation is that Kyrie Irving will get traded as well.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the only known team with interest in Kyrie Irving, but considering they don’t have a ton of assets to offer and any deal would likely need to include Russell Westbrook, the two teams have not yet been able to come to an agreement on a deal.
While the Lakers would love to get off Westbrook’s contract and replace him with Irving, they don’t seem to be in a rush to offer both their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks since no other team has interest in acquiring Irving.
If the Nets don’t like what the Lakers offer and can’t get a third team involved, then they could keep Irving, dragging this out into the season.
There’s still plenty of offseason to go before it comes to that, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday morning that there currently is no traction on an Irving deal between the Lakers and Nets:
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 5, 2022
While this isn’t exactly what Laker fans want to hear right now, the fact of the matter is that the Nets do not need to be in any sort of rush to trade Irving and/or Durant.
To trade players of that caliber, you want to get the absolute most back you can possibly get before accepting an offer. And if those offers aren’t on the table, then perhaps the Nets try to see if Durant is open to remaining with the organization even though he has made it clear he would like to be traded.
From the Lakers’ perspective though, acquiring Irving may be their only path to contention in 2022-23, and LeBron James reportedly wants to reunite with his old co-star. So it will be interesting to see if they ultimately increase their offer to ensure a deal gets done.
Hield and Gordon viewed as backup plans
If the Lakers are unable to acquire Irving though then they will still have some work to do to fill out their roster as they currently lack shooting.
Given the lack of free agents available, any shooting upgrades would likely have to come via trade, and Buddy Hield and Eric Gordon are considered the Lakers’ backup options.
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