How a Kyrie Irving to Lakers trade might look
Kevin Durant wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and Kyrie Irving isn’t far behind.
Irving opted in to the final year of his contract with the Nets. He likely chose to do that because he realized no team wanted him on his current $36.5 million salary. There is only one trade destination that really makes sense for him: the Lakers.
But what would a potential Irving to the Lakers trade look like? Let’s take a look.
Irving’s large salary makes him undesirable for many teams. But the Lakers have an equally undesirable contract with Russell Westbrook’s $47.1 million.
The Lakers and Nets could consider a swap of those players, but more players would have to be involved to have the salaries match.
Nets guard Joe Harris is owed $18.6 million next season. If he were included in a deal, the Lakers would have to throw back someone like Talen Horton-Tucker ($10.2 million) or Kendrick Nunn ($5.2 million). The Lakers might also have to kick in a 2027 first-round pick in the deal.
Seth Curry is owed $8.5 million next season. His salary plus Irving’s would come close to matching Westbrook’s, so he could also be part of a deal.
Here are a few looks at possible trades:
SOURCE: The Lakers are working aggressively on a deal for Kyrie Irving — their current offer is Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, and their 2027 1st-round pick. Joe Harris could be headed to Los Angeles in the deal. pic.twitter.com/oRAjIPMj3f
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 1, 2022
Framework of potential Lakers/Nets trade:
Lakers get: Kyrie Irving & Seth Curry
Nets get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 and 2029 1st-round pick
— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) July 1, 2022
Hearing Lakers for Russ, a first-round pick and a pick swap with maybe another player involved, maybe Joe Harris.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 1, 2022
The Lakers might be motivated to make such a deal because they probably recognize they’re not going anywhere with Westbrook anyway, so taking a chance on Irving is worth the gamble. For Brooklyn, they were only putting up with Irving because he was the price to pay to get Durant. As long as Durant isn’t around, they have no interest in keeping Irving.
There really is only one realistic landing spot for Irving. That’s why the Nets don’t have any leverage in trade talks; nobody else wants him for $36 million.