The Brooklyn Nets have had a lot of drama surrounding their team all offseason long. Whether it be Kevin Durant’s trade request, or Kyrie Irving trying to force his way onto the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets super team has come crashing back to earth just three seasons after its formation.
The Nets desired package in return for Irving becomes clear
Durant has been the focal point of the offseason for the most part because he has no shortage of suitors. For Irving, on the other hand, the only team that has seriously made a push for him is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have a strong desire to pair Irving up with his old teammate in LeBron James, but so far, they have lacked the assets to make a move for the star point guard.
The reason may be that the Nets are reportedly looking for more than just future assets in return for Irving. The Lakers have been building their packages around their starting point guard Russell Westbrook and future assets, but that hasn’t caused the Nets to budge. Brooklyn isn’t high on Westbrook and wants more than the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in return for Irving.
“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.” - Marc Stein
Will the Lakers be able to land Irving this offseason?
Regardless of what happens this offseason, it seems like Irving will find his way to the Lakers at some point in the future. Irving will hit free agency after the 2022-23 season, and all signs point to him signing with the Lakers if he hasn’t already been traded there. But is there any way for Los Angeles to still land Irving this offseason?
When it comes to a straight-up trade between the Lakers and Nets, the answer seems to be no. Los Angeles could try to get a third team to join the equation and give the Nets the talent they are looking for, and that seems to be their most likely path moving forward.
The Lakers have an added incentive to make a move for Irving now that James has signed his two-year, $97.1 million extension. Los Angeles sold James on his return by promising to do whatever it takes to build a championship team around LeBron. Plus, their cap situation is a mess with Westbrook and his massive deal, so they will almost certainly have to get his contract off the books one way or another.
There’s also a chance the Nets’ stance would change if they were able to trade Durant before Irving, but that doesn’t seem too likely to happen. There hasn’t been much movement on either player’s trade market this offseason, and it has left a lot of teams around the league waiting to see what happens.
The Lakers have a lot of optimism about their future now that James is onboard for the foreseeable future, but it’s clear they aren’t close to a deal for Irving currently. Whether they will be able to pull off a blockbuster for Irving remains to be seen, but it certainly appears as if they will do whatever they can to make it happen, and that’s encouraging for L.A.’s fan base.