The Kyrie-to-the-Lakers speculation was the lead story on some national shows for days as the point guard seemed to be headed out the door. That came to an end suddenly when the point guard opted into his deal for next season.
There is reportedly still some belief within the NBA that superstar guard Kyrie Irving could end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. Appearing Wednesday on ESPN’s Get Up, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said multiple NBA executives suggested to him that the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets could revisit trade talks focused on Irving.
His scenario has the Lakers sending Russell Westbrook and draft compensation to the Nets for Irving, although Windhorst said the amount of draft compensation is “negotiable.”
Before Irving opted in, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kyrie had given the Nets a list of teams he would be interested in getting dealt to as part of a sign-and-trade. The Lakers were on that list and were reportedly the only team to express mutual interest in Irving.
Ultimately, Irving decided against leaving $30 million on the table.
Any trade of Kyrie to the Lakers would almost certainly have to include Westbrook since his $47 million expiring contract would make the salaries work.
Last season, the nine-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, one-time NBA MVP averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and just 29.8 percent from beyond the arc for a Lakers team that missed the playoffs with a 33-49 record.