Despite being linked with him since the off-season, the Los Angeles Lakers have missed out on Kyrie Irving, as he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on February 5.
Shortly after Irving’s trade was announced, the Lakers’ reported trade offer was made public courtesy of SNY’s Ian Begley, who noted how their package was centered around veteran star guard Russell Westbrook.
“Nets and Mavs have a deal to send Kyrie Irving to Dallas, league source confirms. Lakers had offer earlier in week that included Russell Westbrook and a first round pick for Irving. The Athletic first reported Irving to Dallas,” Begley reported on Twitter.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they will now have to contend with facing off against Irving whilst also trying to galvanize a roster that has struggled to find any consistency throughout the first half of the season, finding themselves sitting 13th in the Western Conference standings as a result.
Russell Westbrook Recently Spoke About Trade Rumors
When speaking to the media following the Lakers’ February 4 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Westbrook addressed the trade rumors that were linking him as part of a deal to acquire Irving.
“No, I do not [feel any added pressure due to the rumors]…That’s not up to me. Like I said, man, I’ve known this is a business since I was 18, 19 years old, as soon as I got in it. My dad taught me that at a young age. Just when you get into this league, it’s a business, and people make businesses dec-, whatever decision that they make. And I make sure I’m ready, professionally, like I always have been and always will be,” Westbrook said.
Since moving to a bench role earlier in the season, Westbrook has been an impactful member of Los Angeles’ rotation – leading many to believe he is a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate – and is currently providing them with averages of 15.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game on 41.4% shooting from the field and 28.6% shooting from deep.
Lakers Were Reluctant To Trade Austin Reaves
In a February 4 article for The Athletic, Lakers beat writer Jovan Buha reported that Los Angeles’ was unwilling to part with either Austin Reaves or Max Christie – most likely due to the future flexibility those two young stars would provide the franchise.
“Given Irving’s on-court pedigree and play this season, the Lakers would almost certainly have to include both first-round picks. Protecting one of those picks could result in the Nets asking for the Lakers to perhaps include Austin Reaves or Max Christie, two of the Lakers’ promising young role players. But the Lakers aren’t interested in including either in a potential package, according to those sources,” Buha reported.
Now that a trade for Irving is no longer a possibility, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers look elsewhere or if they choose to stand pat and re-tool their roster during the off-season. Should they opt to wait, they will continue to hold two valuable future draft picks should they wish to be involved in discussions for the next disgruntled superstar that becomes available, although that won’t help them achieve their goals this season.