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Spurs may be likeliest team to facilitate Kyrie Irving to Lakers

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Just over two weeks into the NBA’s free agency period, there is seemingly no end in sight for the Kyrie Irving trade saga.

The Los Angeles Lakers would love to have him in return for Russell Westbrook, but according to reports, neither they nor the Brooklyn Nets have budged in terms of demands in a potential deal.

Reportedly, the Nets do not want Westbrook, which would necessitate a third team getting involved.

That third team could be the San Antonio Spurs, and according to a team insider, such a deal could happen.

Via Lakers Daily:

“The San Antonio Spurs are a team with a huge amount of cap space following their trade of Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks this offseason.

“‘How do the Spurs plan to use their cap space?’ wrote SpursTalk’s LJ Ellis. ‘The Spurs are actively looking to rent out their cap space in exchange for draft capital. With All-Stars like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell on the trade market, the Spurs are hoping to be handsomely rewarded for helping to facilitate the acquisition of one of those big names.’

“Ellis added more insight.

“‘According to multiple sources, the trade that is closest to happening involves Kyrie Irving being sent to the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook being routed to the Spurs,’ Ellis wrote. ‘To facilitate that trade, the sources tell me the Spurs want an unprotected first round pick from the Lakers.’

“In this scenario, the Lakers would still need to give draft capital in order to move off of Westbrook’s deal, but a third team like the Spurs entering the fray would help the issue of Brooklyn not wanting Westbrook on its roster.”

Gregg Popovich, the Spurs’ longtime head coach, is also their president, and it is hard to imagine him facilitating a trade that would make the Lakers instant contenders again.

But since the Spurs are in full rebuild mode and possibly even looking to tank for the No. 1 pick in next June’s NBA draft, perhaps they would be willing to stomach the idea of helping a team that has defeated them many times in the playoffs in recent years.

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