Proposed 3-Team Trade Sends Lakers a New Superstar

Russell Westbrook Anthony Davis

Getty Lakers stars Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have been the subject of trade rumors.

The Los Angeles Lakers face an uphill battle to dramatically improve their roster to regain the team’s status as a championship contender heading into the 2022-23 season. The Lakers are likely to at least explore potential trades for Russell Westbrook, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor believes that general manager Rob Pelinka may need to find a third team to have a realistic chance of dealing the point guard. O’Connor threw out a wild three-team proposal with the Hornets and Nets that would send Kyrie Irving to the Lakers.

“How about the Lakers? LeBron should be trying to say goodbye to Russell Westbrook but he wouldn’t make sense for Brooklyn, meaning a three-way deal would need to happen with Russ getting sent elsewhere,” O’Connor detailed on April 27, 2022. “Marc Stein reported on his Substack that Charlotte is a potential landing spot for Westbrook, so perhaps a larger deal with more pieces and picks involved (Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward to Brooklyn?) could get Irving to L.A.”

Despite missing a majority of last season due to his vaccination status, Irving showed he is still an elite-level player when he takes the floor. Irving posted 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 41.8% from the three point line during his 29 appearances.

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Why Would the Nets Trade Kyrie?

The Nets are ready to trade Kyrie Irving this summer | Chris Broussard reactsThe Nets are ready to trade Kyrie Irving this summer | Chris Broussard reacts2022-05-12T12:20:40Z

Irving may be on shaky ground in Brooklyn, but it is hard to imagine the Lakers landing the Nets superstar without giving up Anthony Davis. Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward feels like pennies on the dollar for Irving and likely would have little appeal to the Nets. When asked about Irving’s future with the team, Nets general manager Sean Marks sounded noncommittal about the star guard while sending a not-so-subtle message.

“Yeah look, I think that’s something we’ve been discussing, and we will continue to debrief on and discuss throughout this offseason and it’s honestly not just Kyrie,” Marks explained during a May 11 press conference. “I mean, you bring Kyrie up, but we have decisions to make on a variety of different free agents throughout our roster.

“We haven’t had any of those discussions yet, so it’d be unfair for me to comment on how it looks with us and Kyrie because, to be quite frank, he has some decisions to make on his own. So, he has to look at what he’s gonna do with his player option and so forth like that, but I think we know we’re looking for. We’re looking for guys that want to come in here, be part of something bigger than themselves, play selfless, play team basketball and be available. And that goes not only for Kyrie but for everybody here.”

The Lakers Would Likely Need to Trade AD to Have a Chance at Kyrie

Perk proposes an Anthony Davis-Kyrie Irving trade & Stephen A. CAN'T BELIEVE IT ‼️ | First TakePerk proposes an Anthony Davis-Kyrie Irving trade & Stephen A. CAN'T BELIEVE IT ‼️ | First Take Stephen A. Smith cannot believe Kendrick Perkins is proposing an Anthony Davis-Kyrie Irving trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. #ESPN #NBA #FirstTake ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN…2022-05-06T15:20:57Z

Irving has one season remaining on his four-year, $136 million contract and has indicated his preference would be to sign an extension with the Nets. The point guard is slated to have a $36.5 million salary for the 2022-23 season.

Marks’ comments indicate the Nets would be open to at least exploring trades for the superstar. The challenge for the Lakers is that outside of Davis, the team posses little assets that would be appealing enough for Brooklyn to send Irving to Los Angeles.

The Westbrook experience in L.A. has been a roller coaster which led to plenty of trade rumors leading up to the deadline. Ultimately, the Lakers were unable to find an appealing offer to deal the guard. Westbrook is expected to opt-in to his current contract which would give him one more season on his whopping five-year, $206 million contract.

Phil Jackson Is Pushing the Lakers to Keep Russell Westbrook: Report

VideoVideo related to proposed 3-team trade sends lakers a new superstar2022-05-12T11:39:52-04:00

It is hard to imagine Westbrook passing up on the $47 million salary he is due from the Lakers for next season. Phil Jackson has resurfaced as a key voice within the organization, and The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that the former Lakers coach is pushing for the team to retain Westbrook.

“I’m starting to wonder if the Lakers might not trade Russell Westbrook this summer after all,” Amick wrote on May 5. “And no, not just because [Bill] Oram made a compelling argument on Monday as to why they should think twice about it.

“When the decision was made to fire Vogel, sources say his handling of Westbrook and the inability to find a way to make him a more productive part of the program were among the factors that played a big part. There was a strong sense that it was on Vogel to make the Westbrook experiment work, and the fact that it didn’t led to questions about whether Westbrook had been put in a position to succeed. That sure smells like the hope of a Russ revival to me.

“And how’s this for a tidbit to tie this thread up: Phil Jackson is known to have been a fan of Westbrook’s throughout his career. Sources say Phil Jackson has no interest in taking on this coaching job (or any other) himself — let’s just stop that rumor right here — but his view of Westbrook is relevant. As we’ve established, Jackson’s voice matters again.”

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