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#pounditSaturday, September 30, 2023

How a Kyrie Irving to Lakers trade might look

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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.


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