Lakers News: Kyrie Irving Requests Trade From Brooklyn, Could LA Swing A Deal Before Deadline?

More importantly, should LA swing a deal?

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who can’t survive a month without annihilating his team’s chemistry one way or another, is demanding to be traded by the 31-20 Nets one week before the deadline, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The flaky vet, whose incredible play on the court has helped turn this Nets team into a legit title contender (alongside the play of All-Star power forward Kevin Durant and lots of shooters), is now the third Brooklyn All-Star to demand to be dealt in the space of a year. James Harden’s wish around the 2022 deadline was granted, and the Nets received picks, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and the unmovable contract of ex-All-Star Ben Simmons in return. Kevin Durant’s request over the summer was denied.

Irving, a free agent this summer, insists he will sign with another team then if he isn’t moved now.

That may be a bit of an empty threat. It’s unclear what the market will look like for his services this offseason, given his personal baggage.

Your Los Angeles Lakers have been interesting in adding Irving to the roster, one way or another, since last summer. LeBron James has long been a fan of his one-time Cleveland Cavaliers teammate’s play on the hardwood.

LA could certainly swing a deal for Irving’s services, ideally with a knockdown shooter like Seth Curry or Patty Mills, in exchange for the expiring $47.1 million deal of ex-All-Star Russell Westbrook, the very teammate Durant abandoned during his first unrestricted free agency. Brooklyn of course would demand probably both of the Lakers’ two movable first round draft picks, in 2027 and 2029. Considering Irving’s caliber as a player, it might behoove them to comply, despite his issues as a person.

There’s no question Irving would improve LA on the floor, but his behavior off it should give the Lakers pause. Irving’s controversies at this point are legion, and it’s no guarantee that he won’t demand a trade two minutes into his next free agent contract. After all, he did demand to be dealt away from the Cavs after the team had made its third consecutive NBA Finals appearance in the summer of 2017. He also told his next club, the Boston Celtics, that he hoped to see his jersey retired by the team one day… before signing with the Nets in free agency the ensuing summer.

Irving’s health has also been an issue, as he has missed at least 22 games in four of his last five seasons due to injuries or his various other off-court shenanigans.

Through 40 games this season, the eight-time All-Star is averaging 27.1 points on .486/.374/.883 shooting splits, 5.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds, a steal and 0.8 blocks. The 6’2″ Duke alum certainly won’t cure what ails LA defensively, but his incredible scoring punch when he is dialed-in might make up for any of his defensive lapses.


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