The biggest problem for the Los Angeles Lakers remains to be Russell Westbrook, whose future at the franchise remains unknown. The lakers have been in talks with a number of teams in regard to a potential Westbrook trade. The 33-year-old will take the $47 million player option next season, and the teams may not be willing to acquire a depreciated asset with something else on the side.
The Lakers have received a demand for their 2026 first draft pick in order to get rid of him. However, it seems like LA is not willing to lose their draft pick, and they could somehow pull the trade off with the Brooklyn Nets, who have a similar problem with Kyrie Irving. The lakers will enter this off-season with an aim to trade Westbrook so they can rebuild a championship-inning roster for the next season. Moreover, Brooklyn has a similar situation as they too have commitment issues with their point guard Kyrie Irving. Both Westbrook and Irving have player options available during the 2022-23 season. Thus, a Lakers Insider thinks that a potential Westbrook-Irving trade could be on the cards.
The trade could result in the possible reuniting of the players with their old on-field companions. Kyrie will get an opportunity to play with his former Cavaliers teammate James. Meanwhile, Westbrook might end up playing with Kevin Durant at the Nets. Further, Irving is looking for a long-term contract, and the Nets are not sure about the deal.
Lakers Insider Westbrook-Irving Swap Is A Smart Move
The Athletic Bill Oram told on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Oram did not think that the deal was nuts. He did not know if the deal would go through. But it does make sense looking from a logical standpoint. Further, Oram revealed that the nets are sick of Irving while the lakers are sick of Westbrook. Moreover, the Nets will know that they have a better asset in Irving as compared to a depreciating star like Westbrook.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will have the opportunity to reunite the championship-winning duo of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, who helped Cleveland win their first NBA title in 2016. Kyrie revealed last month that he regretted leaving Cleveland and wanted another opportunity to play with King James again. It was also revealed that James tried to rekindle his relationship with Irving by hiring him at the Lakers in 2019 before eventually going with Anthony Davis. The franchise has lacked chemistry on the court in Westbrook\’s presence. Thus, a change to bring in Irving could be a dealbreaker for the franchise.