The situation with the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook had reached a degree where most individuals consider there is no such thing as a getting back from. Westbrook being given a lot of the blame for LA’s rotten 2021-22 season has not sat well with the guard as he continues to balk at the potential for accepting a smaller role on the squad.
The Lakers hope Russ will come back as a defensive-minded player who’s willing to identify up within the corner for open threes, but Russ will not be thrilled in regards to the same. The Lakers need to proceed exploring situations to trade Russ away, with the choice to swap him with Kyrie Irving of the Nets being too attractive. It comes at a price of two first-round picks, something the Lakers have been unwilling to present up for Kyrie on an expiring contract.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha is some of the reputed Lakers insiders in sports media right away. Buha appeared on the ‘Late Night Lake Show‘ Twitter space and updated the fanbase on the situation with Kyrie Irving, revealing that the Lakers are finally trending towards giving up the 2027 and 2029 first-round pick in a trade to amass Irving.
The Lakers could be a lot better positioned for the 2022-23 season in the event that they have Kyrie as a substitute of Westbrook, as Irving on the court remains to be among the best guards within the league. His 60-point performance last season proved that the Lakers could be extremely dangerous with Kyrie, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
LA also must weigh the possible cost of investing 2 future picks for Irving that may convey years after the retirement of LeBron James and the top of the team as currently structured. If the Lakers cannot pivot from the LBJ era into continued success, not having those future picks could also be crippling for the franchise.
With LeBron approaching free agency himself, the Lakers are incentivized to make a win-now push to maintain the 2020 Finals MVP on the squad for at the least one other season or 2. Acquiring Irving would go a good distance in giving LBJ a reason to remain.