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#pounditMonday, September 26, 2022

Potential Kyrie Irving to Lakers trade has 1 catch

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There has been chatter for a while that Kyrie Irving might end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have even had trade discussions surrounding the mercurial point guard. But there might be one catch regarding a potential Irving trade.

Lakers reporter Jovan Buha published a mailbag on The Athletic Wednesday and discussed a possible Irving trade. Buha says Kyrie wants to come to the Lakers, whether that is now or next season.

The Nets apparently have been holding out for the Lakers to increase their offer to two first-round picks. But there is another issue.

Buha says the Nets do not want to take on Russell Westbrook’s salary. Westbrook is owed $47 million this season, so he would be part of a trade involving Irving in order to make the salaries match up. But Westbrook would be routed to a third team willing to eat the veteran guard’s salary in such a trade.

Westbrook might be amenable to such a deal too.

The former NBA MVP recently fired his longtime agent, who advised Westbrook to try and make the best of his situation with the Lakers. Why would Westbrook want a different agent unless he thought it was in his best interest to play for another team? Ultimately, the Nets can stand firm until the Lakers decide to give up more in a trade. Just know that if the Nets do a deal, they won’t be taking back Westbrook.

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