For over a week now, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been the talk of the NBA offseason. Following a rough season in Brooklyn, both players are headed for a split as GM Sean Marks looks for the best possible trades.
Yet, even amid all these rumors, Durant and Irving seem to be no closer to switching teams than they were a week ago. For Kyrie Irving specifically, the market appears to be extraordinarily slow for him.
As many fans and experts across the league impatiently wait for the dominoes to fall, ESPN's Brian Windhorst confirmed that it's only a matter of when, not if, Irving gets swapped for Westbrook.
"Kyrie is an extremely talented player, but at $36 million with one year on his contract, it is hard to find teams that have the construction to offer and are going to accept the risk. You can spend five minutes or five hours looking at it and you're gonna come down to one answer, the only team is the Los Angeles Lakers. Any trade with the Lakers and Nets for Kyrie Irving has got to have Russell Westbrook in it. It's just gotta... so I think this is eventually going to happen, but I think it’s going to be a fight along the way.”
The Nets are facing a serious dilemma. On the one hand, trading with the Lakers for Westbrook (and other pieces) doesn't give them the kind of haul that normally comes with a player as talented as Irving. The guy is several tiers above Russ, and there's really no replacing what he provides offensively for Brooklyn.
On the other hand, Irving's repeated antics and questionable reliability have completely tanked his trade value, and the Lakers are literally the only team in the league currently angling for the star point guard.
For that reason alone, it's considered an inevitability that some kind of Irving/Westbrook trade happens. Lakers fans can rest easy.