When Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his contract on Monday, it looked like the dream of him joining the Los Angeles Lakers had fizzled away.
But on Thursday, the two teams started to talk again about a potential Irving trade, according to Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Via Los Angeles Times:
“Talks about trading for All-Star guard Kyrie Irving reignited Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter not authorized to speak publicly.”
Apparently, the impetus between the two teams talking trade again was Kevin Durant’s request to be traded.
“Durant’s desire to leave gave the Lakers a second chance to acquire Irving, a seven-time All-Star, with the team’s two biggest stars in favor of the move. LeBron James has already won with Irving in Cleveland, and Anthony Davis, a tight James ally, is supportive, according to people familiar with the situation.
“The Lakers, though, need to weigh what they consider is appropriate compensation for a player in the final year of a contract with reliability and durability issues. The team previously balked at adding future first-round draft picks in Irving discussions, and without much league-wide interest in Irving, it’s hard to know what his actual value is and how urgent the Lakers need to act.
“It’s also unknown if and how the Lakers could pursue a third team to aid in the transaction should Brooklyn prefer not to acquire [Russell] Westbrook.”
Any trade that would land Irving with the Lakers would have to include Westbrook. Such a trade would represent the dream method of getting rid of a player whom many have blamed one way or another for the Lakers’ ugly season.
After an uninspiring first day of free agency for L.A., the mere news that the team seemingly still has a shot at turning Westbrook into Irving is surely welcome news for Lakers fans.