Lakers: NBA Insider discusses LA trade of Russell Westbrook for Kyrie Irving – All Lakers
It’s Lakers trade rumor season! So far, the two big names that have been continually circulated in the proverbial Lakers rumor mill are Bulls swingman Zach LaVine and Nets guard Kyrie Irving.
Of the two All-Stars, Irving’s wild speculation has generally sparked more intrigue since, unlike the hypothetical acquisition of LaVine, there is a greater relative chance that Brooklyn will be willing to take on Russell Westbrook in exchange for the abandonment of the always complicated Kyrie Irving. .
A late May report by Kristian Winfield of the NY Daily News stating that Brooklyn “just doesn’t want to give him [Irving] a long-term extension” added a lot of fuel to the fire on the idea of a hypothetical Irving trade for Los Angeles.
In a recent appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, The Athletic’s Bill Oram thinks there’s some logic behind a hypothetical Westbrook swap for Irving.
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“I don’t think it’s crazy. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but from a logical standpoint, it makes sense. From a logical standpoint, the Nets are really fed up with the Kyrie Irving experience The Lakers are fed up with the Russell Westbrook experience.That said, the Nets know they have the best player and the best asset despite all his quirks.
Oram hinted the Lakers probably couldn’t just trade one disgruntled star guard for another. Oram’s comments suggest the Lakers should probably sweeten a potential deal, either with draft picks, which LA is a bit thin on, or additional young talent, which they’re leaning on as well.
Despite their inability to win a championship together in Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant locking out Westbrook on the Thunder in the summer of 2016 when he signed with the Warriors, Oram believes Durant could be open to Brooklyn by bringing in his former teammate.
“Lebron and Kyrie, KD and Russ, these are relationships that really go a long way. So if you’re looking for superstar approval, you have to think you’re going to get there.”
That being said, the Lakers reporter pointed out how much more the deal makes sense for LA than for Brooklyn. Oram explained how Brooklyn “can’t win [a championship] with KD and Russ”, but that the Lakers would be “in the front line” to push Irving if he is available.
Irving has a $36.5 million player option for next season and that’s where things get tricky. The Lakers can’t outright sign Irving with Westbrook, who will go for his $47 million player option for next season, but the two teams could facilitate a signing and trade.