With the NBA schedule released earlier this week and all of us trying to figure out how the season will go, a grim question looms ominously and frustratingly over our predictions: what, say, the Brooklyn Nets roster will look like at the opening night?
Kevin Durant’s trade demand doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and the Kyrie Irving rumors have continued to flutter recklessly through the NBA Twitter sphere, mostly with the Los Angeles Lakers being the intended destination for the point guard who seems to have lost favor with his current franchise.
A common potential trade involves Irving going to the Lakers in exchange for a similarly embattled point guard, Russell Westbrook, in addition to one or both of the available first-round picks from the Lakers (2027 and 2029). However, it looks like that won’t be enough to close the deal.
Rather than just future draft picks and/or young players, the Nets are looking for an established player who can provide an immediate advantage to the roster, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein:
The Nets’ current stance, sources say, is that they are unwilling to send Irving in an exchange if the deal only brings back future assets. They apparently want win-now talent in exchange for parting with Irving, despite all the turmoil. that flooded the Nets for months.”
At this point in his career, Westbrook is widely regarded as a depreciated asset who could even be a buyout candidate after a potential deal – not someone you bring in to bolster your team.
Check the sign up box to confirm that you want to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Since the Lakers really don’t have a desirable win-now player outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, a third team would have to be brought in to facilitate an Irving-to-Los Angeles deal if the Nets maintain their current stance. Stein also notes that Brooklyn’s conception of an Irving trade could be shaken if it can strike a deal for Durant that significantly changes the roster composition.
Brooklyn has been incredibly patient with the Durant situation, so there’s no reason to believe they’ll accept anything less than their dream scenario for Irving… at least for now. For the Lakers, who justthey need to change their roster significantly if they want to compete in what should be an incredibly solid Western Conference this season.
Irving seems to be a natural fit in LA, given his ability to not only act as a secondary playmaker, but also serve as a much-needed off-ball shooter alongside James and Davis. For now, though, it looks like the Lakers just aren’t getting what the Nets want in exchange for a player of Irving’s caliber.