Lakers Rumors: LA Offered Both Movable First-Round Picks To Nets For Kyrie Irving

They really did put their best chips on the table for a rental.

It certainly sounds like your Los Angeles Lakers went as all-in as they possibly could to trade for a multi-month rental of controversial now-Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving. LA had been one of a handful of teams seriously interested in making a trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Irving, who had demanded to be dealt after walking away from contract extension negotiations late last week.

LA had made a point to hold onto its highly-coveted 2027 and 2029 first round draft picks earlier this season, hoping that an All-Star caliber talent would request to be moved ahead of this Thursday’s trade deadline. And indeed, that’s exactly what happened with Irving, an eight-time All-Star who just happened to be teammates with Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James while the duo were on the Cleveland Cavaliers together. 

“Over the last few days… there were a handful of very serious teams [in the hunt for Irving], the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, and ultimately the Dallas Mavericks [won out],” Haynes revealed. “The reason why… obviously pick were important, they got the first round pick and those second round picks, but they also wanted to bring in players who can help right now and keep the team afloat, because they still have championship aspirations. They feel like they still have a team that’s capable of making a deep run.

“And what I can tell everybody as far as what other packages were out there [is] — if you take the Lakers, sources told me they did include both of their first round picks, I believe that’s ’27 and ’29, they did include that in the package to get Kyrie. [The] Nets turned that down.”

Per Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers and Nets were trying to set up a three-team deal that would facilitate shipping out Russell Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract elsewhere, as Brooklyn was uninterested in adding the reserve guard to a team it hopes can still compete in the East. A deal apparently did not materialize in a timely way, and thus the Nets leapt on the Dallas exchange, which by the way is now official, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Irving is an unrestricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t agree to an extension before then. Throwing in incredibly valuable picks to bet on the long-term reliability of a guy who has now blown up situations in all three of his prior NBA stops seems a bit risky, but Irving’s talent on the floor made it an acceptable risk for Los Angeles, apparently. 

That said, there are lots of other interesting deals that could be made this year, so here’s hoping LA acts accordingly.

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