As the only team in the league pursuing Kyrie Irving, the Los Angeles Lakers do have some leverage in trade talks with the Nets, and they are clearly trying to use it.
Days ago, reports dropped of ongoing negotiations between LA and Brooklyn. besides aiming for Kyrie, the Lakers are also trying to steal sharpshooting point guard Seth Curry in the deal.
One NBA insider even suggested that the Purple and Gold could end up with Kyrie, Curry, and wing scorer Joe Harris for the price of Russell Westbrook, THT, and Kendrick Nunn.
"Is there a scenario in which the Lakers end up trading both firsts, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn, and leave the deal with Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Kyrie Irving? I could see that happening. The reason they would like Seth Curry before Joe Harris is that you've got a shorter contract and less injury concerns. With Joe Harris you've got the ankle surgery. The Lakers have been hesitant about taking on large contracts, I don't know why. Maybe management thinks a LeBron James and Anthony Davis core isn't good enough anymore..."
A Kyrie for Westbrook swap by itself would be huge for the 17x champs. Despite all the positives he brings to the court, Russell Westbrook has been a bad fit with the Lakers since day one, and trading him for a proven winner and sharpshooter like Kyrie would be an instant upgrade (assuming Irving actually plays more than half the 2022-23 season).
To then add Joe Harris and Seth Curry with Kyrie would be the best case for the Lakeshow. With that lineup of shooters on the roster, the Lakers could spread the floor and shoot the ball with a certain efficiency they lacked this season.
But with the ball in Brooklyn's court now, it remains to be seen what kind of deal can be struck, or if a deal will even be struck at all.