Eddie House: Kyrie Irving would make Lakers a contender
Eddie House: Kyrie Irving would make Lakers a contender originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Kyrie Irving's trade request could have significant ramifications in the Western Conference.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns reportedly are the "leading suitors" to acquire Irving from the Brooklyn Nets ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline. The Lakers are the betting favorite to end up with Irving, according to PointsBet Sportsbook.
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If Irving does end up in L.A., he'll reunite with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. His trade request actually came just a few days after the Nets and Lakers faced off, and our Eddie House doesn't believe that's a coincidence.
"It was too good to be true. He was playing great basketball. He was quiet and everything was going good in Brooklyn," House said Friday on Celtics Pregame Live. "They came out here and got molly-whopped, then all of a sudden here comes the noise. But what's ironic is it's right after they played the Lakers and LeBron James.
"I've been on planes before. I know how these guys work. I've heard the conversations behind closed doors, star to star, how do we get better? I firmly believe that LeBron got in his ear and was like, 'Hey man, try to get up over here.' Because if he comes to the Lakers, the Lakers go from being a bottom-tier team in the West to actually becoming a contender."
The Lakers currently have a 25-28 record with a 12th-place spot in the West. But with the conference standings as tight as they are, L.A. is only three games behind the fourth-place Mavericks.
If the Lakers land Irving, House says health will determine their fate.
"That's the key," House added. "LeBron usually is healthy, he's usually available. The question is going to be AD (Anthony Davis). If AD is able to be healthy and Kyrie is added to that, you have three bonafide stars, three top-20 players on your roster. You'll be able to compete now.
"The ancillary pieces, the other guys, will they be able to step up in these big moments? Who do you gotta get rid of? All of that stuff is going to come into play. But you have a great building block with those three players right there to say, we gotta push right now. So it's going to be interesting."
It's expected that for the Lakers to acquire Irving, Russell Westbrook would be included in an outgoing trade package. Irving is looking for a new contract in the neighborhood of four years and $198.5 million after his negotiations with the Nets fell through, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.