Lakers Strike Out in Latest Trade Offer for $136 Million Superstar: Report

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ pursuit of Kyrie Irving continues to take new twists and turns, yet ultimately, there has been no significant movement in terms of getting a deal over the line.

However, according to an August 18 newsletter from long-time NBA reporter, Marc Stein, Los Angeles did return to the Brooklyn Nets with an improved offer of:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • a 2027 first-round draft pick
  • and a 2029 first-round draft pick

“Sources confirm that they would be willing to surrender both firsts in tandem with Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract to acquire Irving (although it’s unclear if the picks would be unprotected or protected).

I’m told, however, that the Nets have steadfastly rejected that pitch…The Nets’ current stance, sources say, is that they are unwilling to send out Irving in a trade if the deal solely brings back future assets. They apparently want win-now talent in return to part with Irving, despite all of the turmoil that has engulfed the Nets for months,” Stein wrote.

It’s interesting to see how far Westbrook’s stock has fallen, as just 18 months ago, he would have been viewed as the type of ‘win now’ asset the Nets are looking for – yet, after a season of struggles with the Lakers, Westbrook is no longer the hot commodity he once was.

LeBron James Adamant About Lakers Upgrading Roster

Shortly after LeBron James signed his $91.1 million contract extension with the Lakers, a report emerged from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, detailing how LeBron is still adamant in his desire to reunite with former teammate Kyrie Irving.

“Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic,” Buha wrote in his August 18 column.

If Brooklyn is genuinely unwilling to accept a package of Westbrook plus future draft assets, it will be interesting to see what type of package Los Angeles can put together – especially if the Nets are hellbent on entering a competitive rebuild, rather than tearing things down and starting from scratch.

Jeanie Buss Aims to ‘Keep LeBron Happy’

When you have a global superstar such as LeBron James on your roster, it’s clear that one of your main priorities should always be to keep them happy. According to ESPN’S Stephen A Smith, that’s exactly what Jeanie Buss is trying to do, as, on an August 17 episode of NBA Today, he reported that Buss’ top priority is making moves that align with LeBron’s happiness.

“She personally told me, months ago, her number one priority is for LeBron James to be happy. Because obviously, losing – winning just 33 games, being 16 games under .500 – he was walking around with a very truculent attitude, as he should be…Her number one priority was making sure to put a smile on his face, because she knows it’s entwined with winning, if he ain’t winning, he ain’t happy,” Smith said.

VideoVideo related to lakers strike out in latest trade offer for $136 million superstar: report2022-08-19T13:14:45-04:00

If LeBron is truly committed to winning, then assuming the Lakers can upgrade their roster and challenge for an NBA championship, he should be able to forgive the front office if they fail to land Irving via trade – especially if leads them to signing him for nothing in free agency next summer.

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