The Los Angeles Lakers got a massive boost earlier today when LeBron James agreed to a 2-year contract extension with the team, setting him up to be a Lakers till 2025 if he chooses to. The Lakers can now build their roster for next season, knowing LeBron isn't a free agent, which would be a load off the front office's chest.
With LeBron giving the Lakers a longer-term commitment, many expect the Lakers to be making trades to send Russell Westbrook away for some new players. Everybody knows that the biggest target linked to the Lakers is Kyrie Irving, who is looking for a way out of the Brooklyn Nets.
We had heard that the Lakers were unwilling to send both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Nets to facilitate this deal, but Adrian Wojnarowski has shared an update. The Lakers allegedly have been trying to get the Nets to agree to the price of both picks, and Brooklyn is the one turning the deal down.
"Lakers are active in trade talks around the league. They have 2 real assets to put out there for a significant trade. That's their 20207 first-round pick and their 2029 first-round picks. If unprotected, it'll have a lot of value on the marketplace. The Lakers, I'm told, are willing to do that in a Kyrie Irving trade but that's not something the Nets have been interested in.
Brooklyn could've turned the deal now to maximize the leverage they have with Kevin Durant and try to entice him into playing another season alongside Kyrie. The second KD gets moved, the Nets will try and move Kyrie on as well.
Brooklyn risks their players not showing up for camp but is content in dragging the KD trade saga on for as long as they can. As a result, the Lakers' pursuit of Kyrie Irving is going to be impacted as Brooklyn won't make any major moves before they have closure on the KD situation.