Talks of Kyrie Irving Heading to Lakers Escalate After Demanding Trade from Nets

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Los Angeles Lakers may have just been thrown a bone ahead of the February 9 NBA trade deadline.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and would like to be traded ahead of the deadline.

“Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July,” Charania tweeted.

Irving was connected to the Lakers a bunch over this past offseason when his teammate, Kevin Durant, requested a trade from the Nets. It was reported that, if Durant was to be moved, Irving would likely be on his way out as well.

Rachel Nichols of ESPN reported that both LA teams – the Lakers and LA Clippers – will likely be interested.

“Would actually anticipate both LA teams at least taking a look at a potential Kyrie deal. Clippers had already been on the hunt for a point guard,” Nichols tweeted.

The Lakers could easily match Irving’s trade with Russell Westbrook’s contract, as he makes roughly $47 million and is on an expiring contract. If the Lakers were to get in on a potential deal for Irving, Westbrook would almost certainly be included. In addition, LA could offer their two future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, which could be of real value to Brooklyn.

With Irving’s request coming so close to the deadline, the Nets won’t have much time to negotiate a trade, and the Lakers won’t have much time to compile their offer, either. Things could get tricky, as Irving would also have to be extended at the end of the year.

Should LA make a move, adding Irving to the roster could help them push for a championship. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been putting up great numbers this year, and the addition of Irving would see them earn a Big 3.

On top of that, the Lakers are one of the few teams who have the salary to match Irving’s contract (Westbrook), so they could be at the top of the list of suitors.

Lakers Linked to Bojan Bogdanovic Trade

In addition to a potential deal for Irving, they are also reportedly interested in a trade for Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, and Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes they may choose to strike a deal.

“While the Detroit Pistons sound like they genuinely want to keep Bogdanovic, the fact remains that they’re rebuilding and he can’t really help with that, since his 34th birthday is coming in April,” Buckley wrote. “Look for the Lakers to eventually pry him loose with a package built around Beverley and one of those first-round picks, with minimal protection on the pick (top-five at the most).”

Jeanie Buss Discusses LeBron James’ Frustrations

Plus, considering James’ past relationship with Irving, a deal could help make him happy. According to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who made an appearance on the Know Mercy podcast with Stephen A. Smith, James is fairly frustrated with the current state of the team.

“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy,” Buss explained. “That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with, you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And, the burden’s on him.”

Adding Irving to the mix would certainly help their chances and, in turn, help keep James happy.

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