After some initial optimism that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets would soon complete a trade that would land Kyrie Irving in Southern California for Russell Westbrook, both teams appear to be stuck.
There have been many reports that have mentioned multiple potential bottlenecks that could get in the way of a potential deal.
A potential problem could be that the Nets do not want to take back Russell Westbrook under any circumstances.
While he’s put down incredible numbers in recent years, his stock has fallen rapidly in a short space of time, especially since the Lakers took him over last summer.
Through Lakers Daily†
“According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people across the league are questioning whether the Lakers can make a direct trade with the Nets for Irving.
“The Lakers are the only team with a clear desire to poach Irving out of Brooklyn, but there is a lot of skepticism around the NBA that LA can acquire Irving in a direct two-team swap with the Nets,” Fischer wrote. of Brooklyn to compete already disqualifies a theoretical package from Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks from satisfying the Nets’ wishes for an Irving or [Kevin] Durant return. †
As everyone knows, Brooklyn’s other big star Kevin Durant wants out, but the team doesn’t seem to be in any rush to trade him right now.
It is rumored that a potential Durant trade could involve more than two teams and could potentially net the Nets Donovan Mitchell, a three-time All-Star who often ups his game and delivers high scoring figures in the playoffs.
If the Nets struck such a deal and paired him with Ben Simmons, they’d be a playoff team at worst and potentially see themselves as contenders.
In that case, Westbrook would not fit into their plans for next season and a third team would be needed to help the Lakers land their big fish.
Who could that third team be?
Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN that the San Antonio Spurs could come in and help LA facilitate an Irving trade, although the team would have to boost the Spurs, which would mean abandoning the draft compensation.
The Lakers have reportedly been reluctant to give up draft picks in any Westbrook transaction. However, it is always possible that a trade involving additional teams could bring in additional players that can soften the blow and even solve roster issues.
With Summer League taking place in Las Vegas this week, Lakers CEO Rob Pelinka and Nets CEO Sean Marks will have the opportunity to speak in person, if they wish, and make progress on a potential transaction.
But it’s also possible that this will last for a long time, and it’s also possible that the Nets won’t end up trading Irving before the new season starts.