Lakers Refuse to Include Fan-Favorite in Kyrie Irving Trade: Report

Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Despite being rumored to have an interest in acquiring Kyrie Irving, it would appear that the Los Angeles Lakers have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to players who they are unwilling to part with.

According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, both Austin Reaves and Max Christie have been listed as ‘off limits’ in any potential trade discussion with the Brooklyn Nets over their disgruntled superstar guard.

“Given Irving’s on-court pedigree and play this season, the Lakers would almost certainly have to include both first-round picks. Protecting one of those picks could result in the Nets asking for the Lakers to perhaps include Austin Reaves or Max Christie, two of the Lakers’ promising young role players. But the Lakers aren’t interested in including either in a potential package, according to those sources,” Buha reported.

Should the Lakers and Nets reach an agreement over the mercurial guard, it will be interesting to see exactly what Los Angeles has to give up in order to acquire a guard who is in the final six months of his current contract and could potentially be a flight risk.

Lakers ‘Wary’ Of Committing To Irving Long-Term

According to long-time NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Lakers (and any other interested party) could hit a stumbling block during their attempts to acquire Irving, with most teams rumored to be reluctant when it comes to committing to the superstar beyond the current season.

“But there’s a reason that the Lakers and Mavericks keep coming up so frequently: Both teams have personalities — LeBron James in Lakerland; Jason Kidd and GM Nico Harrison in Dallas — that Irving is known to admire, theoretically lowering the risk factor attached to a gamble on Irving…Even teams believed to be interested in Irving, like the Lakers and the Mavericks, are wary of making commitments to the 30-year-old beyond this season because of Irving’s well-chronicled reliability issues over the past half-decade,” Stein reported.

Unfortunately, should teams remain cautious about committing to Irving beyond the current season, they may struggle to reach an amicable deal with Brooklyn, who will certainly be looking to maximize their return for their star guard.

Framework For Irving Trade Revealed

When speaking on a recent episode of NBA Today, Marc J. Spears shared his thoughts on what a potential framework for a Kyrie Irving deal could look like, with Bleacher Report transcribing his thoughts.

“I’ve been speaking to six different general managers today, and four of them said that Kyrie had little value, that they thought that maybe they could get some expiring contracts or some role players for him. Of the teams that they mention that could have interest, there was Dallas, Lakers, Miami and even the Chicago Bulls,”  Spears said. 

Irving has been impactful for the Nets this season, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 48.6% from the field, 37.4% from deep, and 88.3% from the free-throw line – and would certainly be a stellar addition to a Lakers team in need of some fresh blood as they chase a return to the NBA playoffs.
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