All of a sudden, it’s a real possibility.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving shocked the NBA world on Friday when he requested a trade from his squad ahead of the NBA’s February 9 trade deadline.
The two sides were unable to reach an agreement on extension talks, and now, with just six days to go until the trade deadline, Irving wants out.
The Nets will have to very quickly scour the trade market, as they try to trade one of the league’s top point guards.
Fortunately, they likely already have some initial frameworks for a deal, as they were discussing trades involving Irving all offseason long.
One of the teams that was very interested in trading for the superstar point guard was the Los Angeles Lakers, and with six days to go until the deadline, they’re likely to be at the forefront of teams trying to make a move happen. Lucky for them, the deal should be pretty easy. Here are three options:
1. The Simplest One
Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Markieff Morris
Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), 2029 first-round pick (unprotected)
An Irving-Westbrook swap doesn’t work out perfectly in terms of contract values, so Morris makes the money work, and the Nets get two unprotected first-round picks, and pair Westbrook and Kevin Durant back up.
The Lakers, of course, put together a big three of Irving, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which instantly becomes one of, if not, the best in all of basketball.
2. An Additional Layer
Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris
Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV, 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), 2029 first-round pick (unprotected)
If the Nets wanted to unload the final one-and-a-half years of Harris’ contract, this would be the best way to do it. In return, they could also ask for Walker, who’s had a nice year off the bench in LA, and could provide some scoring for a Brooklyn team that’s losing a lot of it in Irving.
3. Shooting, Shooting and More Shooting
Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Joe Harris
Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV, Patrick Beverley, 2023 second-round pick (via LA), 2025 second-round pick (via LA), 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), 2029 first-round pick (unprotected)
If the Lakers wanted to really go big, they could try to get Curry and Harris, and totally surround their new big three of Irving, James and Davis with shooters.
A lineup of Irving, Curry, James, Davis and any fifth guy — Rui Hachimura for length, Thomas Bryant for size, Harris for scoring, Austin Reaves for a little bit of everything — could be as good as any in all of basketball.
These are the three simplest moves for LA to get Irving on their squad. Obviously, they could pursue three- or even four-team trades to make a deal happen, but if Brooklyn is interested in the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, this deal could come together very quickly.