There hasn’t been much progress between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets with regard to a potential blockbuster trade deal for Kyrie Irving. In fact, it somehow feels like the deal’s already dead. Well, that might all change now.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein (paywalled), the Lakers have already taken a renewed stance. At this point, LA is reportedly willing to include two first-round picks along with Russell Westbrook in exchange for Irving:
Sources confirm that they would be willing to surrender both firsts in tandem with Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract to acquire Irving (although it’s unclear if the picks would be unprotected or protected).
That’s huge. The Nets were obviously unwilling to do a Kyrie-for-Russ deal — and understandably so. However, the fact that the Lakers are now going to include not one, but two first-rounders could change the conversation entirely.
LeBron James recently signed a massive extension with the Lakers, and it doesn’t seem coincidental that LA is now willing to improve their bid for Kyrie Irving. LeBron clearly wants a reunion with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, and this could be something the front office promised to him as he put pen to paper on his new two-year deal.
It is worth noting, however, that the Nets have made it abundantly clear that they will want to trade Kevin Durant first before they make any moves on Kyrie. Whether or not this new development from the Lakers changes their mind, however, now remains to be seen.