Woj Gives Troubling Update on Blockbuster Lakers Trade Rumors

Lakers star LeBron James sits next to Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers star LeBron James sits next to Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to get “aggressive” in trade talk with the Brooklyn Nets for disgruntled star Kyrie Irving, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The NBA insider added that thus far there has been “no traction” on the Lakers potentially acquiring Irving.

“I do think there’s going to be teams who would like to do deals for him [Irving],” Wojnarowski detailed during a July 4, 2022 edition of “SportsCenter.” “It’s different than the sign-and-trade he tried to get [prior to opting in]. That’s where teams would have had to have signed him for multiple years. He’s essentially on an expiring contract and I think teams who just need to improve their talent, can take some risk with Kyrie Irving.

“The Lakers have yet, I’m told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get him from Brooklyn. That may come, that may evolve with time, but so far, right now, there’s no traction really on deals with either Irving or Kevin Durant. They’ll develop over time but both of these processes could play out and they don’t have to trade either.

“They’re both under contract, they could bring them back this season. I don’t think that’s the ideal scenario for Brooklyn. I think it’s trying to find a way to get up to get the biggest haul of assets they can. But again, there’s a lot of time left in this offseason and a lot more talks that are coming.”

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There Is ‘Palpable Optimism’ That the Lakers Will Trade for Kyrie: Report

The state of the Kyrie trade talks depend on which NBA insider fans listen to as Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that the Lakers and Nets are “actively engaged” in discussions about the star guard. Haynes noted that there is “palpable optimism” about a deal ultimately getting done despite the “few hurdles” both sides need to overcome.

“The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are actively engaged in discussions on a trade package that would send star point guard Russell Westbrook to Brooklyn in exchange for star point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes wrote on July 2. “There’s palpable optimism that an agreement can be struck between the two sides this offseason, but there remain a few hurdles, sources said.

“Draft compensation is an ongoing talking point for the Nets and they want shooting guard Joe Harris — who is recovering from left ankle surgery — and his remaining $38.6 million owed over the next two years included in the deal, sources said. The Lakers have been disinclined to the inclusion of Harris, and are instead seeking the insertion of sharpshooter Seth Curry as part of the arrangement, sources said.”

The Lakers Likely Need to Include 2 Future First-Round Picks in a Trade, Says Ex-NBA Exec

If the Lakers want to land Irving, general manager Rob Pelinka is going to have to include more in a deal than just Russell Westbrook. As Haynes detailed, the Lakers may also need to take on Joe Harris in the trade. ESPN’s Bobby Marks believes the starting point for the Lakers acquiring Irving is Westbrook along with two future first-round picks.

“It is no secret that Irving is available in a trade and the cost to acquire James’ former teammate is likely two unprotected firsts (2027 and 2029) and Russell Westbrook,” Marks explained on July 5. “The Lakers balked at the same offer at the trade deadline for John Wall; would they do the same for Irving?”

With LeBron James entering the final year of his contract, there is mounting pressure on the Lakers to make a deal for Irving happen. Trading for Irving may be the Lakers’ only hope for unloading Westbrook and could be worth attaching future picks in order to orchestrate a deal.