Lakers and Nets ‘Actively Engaged’ in Russell Westbrook-Kyrie Irving Trade Talks
The Kyrie Irving-Lakers trade speculation got a lot spicier on Saturday afternoon. There’s been plenty of speculation and reports that the Lakers were one of the few teams, perhaps the only team, seriously considering acquiring Kyrie Irving via sign-and-trade prior the the seven-time All-Star opting into the final year of his deal.
However, Kyrie opting in, and Kevin Durant requesting a trade from Brooklyn, have not seemed to alter the Lakers interest in adding Kyrie Irving to their roster. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Lakers and Nets are discussing a potential deal to land Kyrie in LA in exchange a package involving Russell Westbrook.
“The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are actively engaged in discussions on a trade package that would send star point guard Russell Westbrook to Brooklyn in exchange for star point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
Haynes noted that there’s “optimism” that a deal can be reached between the two teams, but draft compensation and the inclusion of Joe Harris are the main hurdles in a deal being reached.
Harris has two years and $38.6M left on his contract and played just 14 games this past season due to a knee injury.
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However, Harris has shot 43.9% from three in his eight-year career and is the exact type of shooter this team needs. The question is whether or not the Lakers are willing to gamble on a 30-year-old recovering from a knee injury.
Seth Curry, who Brooklyn held out for in the never ending James Harden-for-Ben Simmons trade this past season, is another quality shooter that should fit well on a roster centered around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and potentially, Kyrie Irving. The younger Curry owns an identical career three-point percentage (43.9%) as Harris.
On the court, swapping Kyrie Irving for Russell Westbrook, adding Harris, at the expense of potentially Talen Horton-Tucker, and LA’s first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, would figure to be a net a positive, but Kyrie has proven that what he does off the court is sometimes just as impactful to a contender’s title hopes.
Notably, Haynes reported that the Nets aren’t in a hurry to get a Kyrie deal done.
“The Nets are not expected to be rushed into a deal and will continue conversing the complex specifics with the Lakers on an Irving-Westbrook swap.”
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