After a season to forget, the Los Angeles Lakers have been the talk of the town this offseason. With many fans and pundits vouching for the team to make some drastic changes, many consider this offseason as a make-or-break time for the Lakers to become contenders again.
One of the biggest names that fans have been raving to replace has been Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, who started the season as the starting point guard in the Purple and Gold, failed to leave his mark with the team and never settled in next to the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Rather than giving him a second season to prove himself, though, many have lined him up for a potential trade package for Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie, who himself had his number of off-court issues last season, has not been the most popular figure on the Brooklyn Nets team. Missing multiple games for the team, Irving has never been the reliable second superstar for the Nets. Given how tumultuous his time in Brooklyn has been, he has been linked with a potential linkup with former teammate LeBron James.
Recent reports from the Athletic might be music to the ears of Lakers fans. In a recent report, the Lakers have been touted as the favorites to land Irving, be it via a trade or a free agency signing.
"All indications are that the Lakers are Irving’s top destination if he leaves Brooklyn, whether it’s via a trade between now and the February 2023 trade deadline or in free agency next summer, when Westbrook’s salary will be off the Lakers’ books."
This is certainly fantastic news for Lakers fans. Given that the franchise is well placed to make a move for Kyrie, it might just be a matter of time before we see 'Uncle Drew' in a Purple and Gold jersey. But much of it will depend on how the Lakers plan to spend their assets. If they are willing to trade Westbrook and their two remaining first-round picks now, Irving might end up playing the 2022-23 season for the team.
But if they are unwilling to trade their future 1st round picks right now, they might run it back with the existing team and finally sign the talented guard in the 2023-24 season. What should the Lakers do?