Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated has an idea of how the Los Angeles Lakers can acquire the All-Star point guard.
On February 3, Nadkarni proposed a wild three-team trade between the Nets, Lakers and Chicago Bulls. Irving is interested in getting traded to Los Angeles to reunite with LeBron James and the purple and gold are trying to acquire the one-time champion, league sources told Heavy Sports.
- Lakers receive: Kyrie Irving
- Nets receive: Zach LaVine, Coby White
- Bulls receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 and ’29 Lakers unprotected first-round picks
“Los Angeles is probably the most clear suitor for Irving,” Nadkarni wrote. “He has a relationship with LeBron James. The Lakers have been linked to him before. And if any team is desperate enough to be willing to take on the risk of Kyrie in a contract year, it’s the Lakers, who have been clinging to their future first-round picks in the hopes of swinging for a star.
“Maybe there’s some conversation about the protections on the Lakers picks. Or maybe they only need to part with one of them. And it’s possible the Nets balk at the years left on Lavine’s deal, though Joe Tsai has been willing to spend. But the Bulls have been at the forefront of trade rumors, and if they do decide to reconfigure their current build, acquiring Westbrook gives them a huge expiring deal, and those future picks are very enticing. The Nets can remain competitive with LaVine, who while not as skilled a shotmaker as Irving, is a more than competent offensive replacement.”
Irving is in the final year of his contract. The Duke product has been heavily linked to the Lakers due to his relationship with James. Irving and James played in 183 regular-season games together on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 to 2016-17, compiling a record of 132-51. The two NBA legends went 39-13 in the playoffs and guided the Cavaliers to the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors in seven exciting games.
The Lakers Are Considered the Top Landing Spot for Kyrie Irving
The Lakers are considered the top landing spot for Irving. Los Angeles is ready to offer Brooklyn Russell Westbrook and two future draft picks for Irving — who is averaging 27.1 points this season — league sources told Heavy Sports.
“The Russell Westbrook experiment has failed in pretty spectacular fashion, and Irving’s skill set fits alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a way Russ’ never could,” Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey wrote on February 3. “He can shoot threes and has plenty of experience playing off the ball and letting a possession-dominant forward cook. He also has specific experience with LeBron, with whom he won a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.”
Irving not only has a relationship with James, but he also has a rapport with Anthony Davis and Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy. Irving and Davis were teammates on the 2014 FIBA World Cup Team, while Irving and Handy won a championship together on the Cavaliers with James.
LeBron James Wants the Lakers to Trade for Kyrie Irving
James, who is set to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer soon, wants the Lakers to trade for Irving, league sources told Heavy Sports. James and Davis believe Los Angeles can win the championship this season with Irving next to them.
“LeBron wants the Lakers to trade for Kyrie,” sources told Heavy Sports. “Everyone in the NBA knows this. Both of them have moved on from what happened in Cleveland and realize they are a perfect match with each other on the court.”
Irving averaged 22.1 points and 5.3 assists alongside James in Cleveland, while LeBron put up 25.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game with Uncle Drew.