It’s been three days since the NBA’s free agency period began, and all signs still point to the Lakers remaining committed to acquiring Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving in a potential trade for Russell Westbrook. Yahoo Sports insider Chris Haynes was the latest to report that the Lakers and Nets are working to finalize an Irving-Westbrook centered trade in some capacity.
However, Haynes also mentioned that the discussion to bring Irving to Los Angeles remains preliminary, which is the latest in a series of several reports that at the very least suggest the Lakers are awaiting the aftermath of Kevin Durant’s impending departure from Brooklyn before doing any further movements. It looks like the Nets, having a nightmarish offseason with all of this, are prioritizing Durant’s trade over dealing with Irving.
According to Jovan Buha of Athleticismthe purple and gold also await the aftermath of Durant’s departure before signing more free agents (or making any other moves) this summer.
After back-to-back injury-riddled seasons in which their supporting players couldn’t stay healthy, the Lakers opted for a more conservative approach in free agency. As it stands, the Lakers have 13 players on their roster. The current plan is to wait out the Kevin Durant saga and see which free agents fall through the cracks.
Kyle Goon The CO register similarly reported, and that the Lakers will have to remain patient before welcoming Irving to Los Angeles.
The feeling around the NBA is that Brooklyn’s top priority is to trade Kevin Durant, who could command the most abundant package of players and picks in league history. Once that deal is done — and right now there’s such a frenzy of interest that it may take a while to unpack — the Nets will turn their attention to Irving, who has been a constant source of drama and tension ever since. his arrival in Brooklyn.
So did ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who also said negotiations to acquire Irving will have to be put on hold as the Nets continue to seek the best possible package in exchange for Durant. Note that the Nets are still in ongoing talks with the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat, who Durant said were his desired destinations, with the Toronto Raptors also apparently in the mix.
What remains complicated in this scenario is that Brooklyn wants more than the Suns and Heat can offer Durant, which means their goal is to involve another team or two in putting together the best trade package possible. . It just means the Lakers have to wait until the Nets are happy with the best offer for Durant in order to move forward with their chances of acquiring Irving.
So before Lakers fans celebrate their impending divorce from Westbrook in exchange for Irving (who fits in exponentially better alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis), they should remember that there are a lot of complications that await them as Brooklyn decides how to deal with Durant. .
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst summed it up perfectly here during his last appearance on morning radio show “Keyshawn, JWill & Max” (emphasis mine):
“The Nets can’t make a decision on what to trade Kyrie for until they know what’s on their roster and, more importantly, what’s on their books. So Kyrie and more particularly the Lakers will have to wait… Russell Westbrook makes $11 million more than Kyrie Irving and they can’t be traded for each other. Now they can be traded for each other under league rules, but you can’t just ignore that extra $11 million. It’s possible the extra $11 million could blow the Nets’ payroll in the luxury tax. It’s possible the Nets end up in a sign-and-trade where they get a player in a sign-and-trade under the Durant deal, they’re going to be capped and they can’t even make that deal.
“So I’m going to tell you straight Key, since that’s what you want, Kyrie Irving wants to be a Laker is the signal he sends. The only place he wants to be is the Lakers.
So it looks like the most vital move of the offseason (and those coming after) that the Lakers aim to make is far from over. Where is it? Because I was writing this blog, Ian Begley of SNY reported the following:
“The Nets and Lakers touched base in a potential trade centered on Kyrie Irving (and) Russell Westbrook on Saturday…I’ve been told that at least on the Lakers side there is some optimism about the future. momentum to do something here in the near future, potentially as early as Sunday… But with the Nets, it’s really all about Kevin Durant, his trade request and how they go about it…
“A lot of things are up in the air right now in the league, and a lot of things will be discussed late Saturday and Sunday, and we’ll see if we get to the finish line on any of that stuff.”
.@IanBegley reports that there is momentum toward a Kyrie Irving-Russell Westbrook trade between the Nets and Lakers, along with notes on possible destinations for Kevin Durant and whether the Nets would retain Russell Westbrook if they acquired him from the Lakers:
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) July 3, 2022
So to sum it up: The Lakers and the Nets are…
- Talking about a trade with Kyrie Irving, at least beforehand
- A deal could be reached this weekend
- Can also wait until Kevin Durant trade is complete
If it feels like anything can happen…it’s because it can. So hang in there. If you’re one of the many Lakers fans impatient and excited about all the Kyrie Irving news and rumors, I suggest you sit down and practice the most important virtue in life: patience. All signs suggest it’s far from over.
Unless it almost is.
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