We’ve spent a large part of the summer watching the Los Angeles Lakers pursue Kyrie Irving as they looked for a way to remove Russell Westbrook from their roster.
While things haven’t gone as planned for the Lakers, there’s still plenty of time to make additional moves to improve their roster before next season gets underway. However, it would be wise for them to resolve LeBron James’ current contract situation before heading into training camp – otherwise, that will be another cloud hanging over the franchise.
Yet, according to Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless, the Lakers do have an alternative option that could see them land a new superstar while also giving LeBron his wish of re-uniting with Kyrie Irving – if Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Nets were to agree on a trade that sees LeBron head to New York and Kevin Durant become a Laker.
“There’s only one deal that makes sense to me, and it’s superstar for superstar, your guy for my guy. It’s swapping coasts with LeBron and Kevin Durant, and I don’t believe LeBron, according to Chris Broussard, wants to do it – he doesn’t want to end his career in Brooklyn…KD to the Lakers makes sense, he might have one rough year with Russ (Westbrook), but you’ve still got him for another three years. And at least LeBron keeps you afloat in credibility, you’re still a contender, and he gets his wish to re-unit with Kyrie Irving,” Bayless said during an August 10 episode of Undisputed.
It’s doubtful that Los Angeles would agree to this deal, as that would mean Anthony Davis and Durant – two players who have struggled with injury issues over the last three or four years – would be critical to their championship hopes.
LeBron Expected to Re-Sign With Lakers
If LeBron wasn’t planning on re-signing with the Lakers before his contract expired, moving him for Durant would be a plausible way for Los Angeles to retain a superstar presence within their roster.
Yet, according to an August 5 report by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on NBA Today, LeBron is likely to sign an extension with Los Angeles in the coming weeks, thus removing the need to explore trade packages that would involve the self-proclaimed ‘King’.
“All signs point toward both sides looking to extend their partnership together. It’s already led to one championship in 2020. It’s also led to two playoffs appearances where they didn’t make it, but overall, I think both sides recognize that they can help one another get to their mutual goal, which is to compete at a high level and stay relevant as both one of the best players in the NBA and one of the most marquee franchises in the NBA,” McMenamin said.
Kyrie Irving to Remain in Brooklyn
While LeBron is likely to remain in Los Angeles beyond this current season, it would seem that his immediate chances of playing with Kyrie Irving have a taken a blow, as the skilful point guard is expected to remain in Brooklyn for the final year of his contract.
“With regards to Kyrie Irving, I was told by a source close to Irving that he feels that he and the Nets are in a very good place right now, and comfortable heading towards the start of next season. Irving obviously opted in to the final year of his deal with Brooklyn, he can be an unrestricted free agent next summer. After a lot of trade talk, there doesn’t appear to be much there at the moment, so it’s worth noting that he feels like the Nets and he are in a good place at this point, as they head towards next season,” SNY’s Ian Begley said on August 4.
Still, Irving will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023, so if he and LeBron are serious about teaming up again, they will have the perfect opportunity to do so ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.