Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook are both polarizing figures in the NBA in their unique ways. Kyrie has his controversies off the court to deal with, while Russ is coming off his worst season on the hardwood. And both have found their names mentioned together numerous times during this offseason, one of the most talked about trade rumors is a swap between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets involving the two point guards.
Talks had initially stalled thanks to the Lakers seemingly not wanting to give up multiple first-round picks in the deal. But then reports emerged suggesting that LeBron James still 'badly' wants a reunion with Irving. This was followed by suggestions that the Lakers would be willing to give up the picks after all.
And now that has sparked conversations about the potential trade once again. NBA insider Nick Friedell explained on ESPN that a potential deal is very much still on the cards.
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"I think that was what the Nets were looking for all long – the two picks." Friedell said. "But if those two picks that the Lakers would attach to Westbrook, to make the money work, I think that's still a possibility down the line. But as always, it depends on what happens with Kevin Durant, and what his future holds in Brooklyn."
Yet again, it seems that the key to everything remains in the hands of Kevin Durant. KD is the main man in Brooklyn at the moment, and he could throw off any potential deals by choosing to stay or continuing to force a move away from the franchise.
It's becoming clear that the Nets won't get Westbrook unless they're blowing everything up, which would be a story in its own right. This is a weird limbo for Russ and Kyrie to be in also, although Irving is likely occupying himself with other pursuits at the moment. The deal makes a lot of sense for the Lakers, and they're possibly holding out at the moment on the chance that it goes through later in the offseason.