LeBron James Pushing Against Lakers Amid Irving-Westbrook Trade Discussions

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook

Getty LeBron James #6 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers

The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers remain in trade talks for Kyrie Irving. Recent reports have a possible third team in the San Antonio Spurs jumping into the trade discussion as they continue their rebuild. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Friday July 8, that he believes a deal between the Lakers and Nets will get done for Kyrie. 

“I think this is eventually going to happen, but I think that it is going to be a fight along the way,” Windhorst said on the July 8 episode of Get Up

One reason Windhorst has the optimism that a deal will get done is because LeBron James also wants Kyrie Irving to find a spot on the Lakers roster. 

LeBron Wants Kyrie on the Lakers

Earlier this month Marc Stein reported that LeBron was excited about a potential reunion with Irving. 

“James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone. What other team, furthermore, has a LeBron-sized personality with the experience to cope with all the chaos that comes with adding Kyrie? James, remember, has often thrived in chaos,” Stein wrote

Now, the latest comes from Brian Windhorst who further confirmed that LeBron is pushing a Kyrie deal behind the scenes. 

“I can’t articulate how little LeBron cares about the Lakers’ 2029 first-round pick. He could not care less about it. … He wants to win tonight and Kyrie Irving gives him a chance to win tonight. We are in a moment right now where teams are pushing back against player empowerment. … Now the Lakers are staring at this. Are they honestly going to push back on LeBron James if he’s sitting there with the pen ready to sign an extension making sure the Lakers remain highly relevant and a championship contender for the next two years?” Windorst said. 

The Lakers have the potential to get an All-NBA point guard for a player that they don’t even want on their team, and that was a disappointment last season. He absolutely should be pressuring for a deal when the price tag for Irving is so slim currently. It can be argued that the Lakers should have some caution about the deal for the drama that follows Irving, but as Stein wrote, LeBron often thrives amid chaos. 

Irving Regrets Leaving LeBron in Cleveland

After leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers following a very public trade request that had the point guard dealt to Boston, Irving has since expressed regret in how he handled the situation. He noted that if he would have spoken to James perhaps they could have mended things and dominated the league. 

“We didn’t talk during that time,” Irving said. “When I look back on what I was going through at that time, I wish I did [talk to LeBron], because it would’ve been a good understanding of what the future will hold for both of us, and we know how much power we both had together.”

“Me and him in the league together running Cleveland, and then being able to put a better team together every single year would’ve definitely been worth it,” Irving said in a May appearance on the “I Am Athlete” web series.

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