Kyrie Irving is one of the best point guards in the league, and there is no doubt that when he's on the court, Kyrie Irving is a difference-making player that is an elite shot creator.
The Los Angeles Lakers were a team that was heavily linked with Kyrie Irving, but clearly, their hopes have been dampened after Kyrie Irving ended up accepting his player option with the Brooklyn Nets. However, an article by Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report relayed the words of Brian Windhorst, who claimed that there are "high-ranking people" in the league who believe the situation between Kyrie Irving and the Lakers "is not done".
Speaking Tuesday on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst commented on the situation:
"I know that there are people in the league, and we're not talking about ancillary people, we're talking about high-ranking people, who believe that this is not done. I don't know. Let me just say this about the Lakers. He obviously was very interested in joining the Lakers. The Lakers were very interested in having him."
If the Los Angeles Lakers are to acquire Kyrie Irving this offseason, they would have to put together a trade package that could entice the Brooklyn Nets. Obviously, a star of Kyrie Irving's caliber would usually require a huge trade package, but due to it being the last year of his deal, perhaps the Lakers could get him for less. Here is our hypothetical trade package for Kyrie Irving.
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, 2027 First-Round Pick
The Lakers Reunite Kyrie Irving And LeBron James
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving won a title together in 2016, beating the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the Finals. Perhaps them reuniting in Los Angeles is a good idea, and the Los Angeles Lakers would definitely become one of the best teams in the league immediately after the trade. They would have a top-tier big three in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving, and would immediately become one of the heavyweights in the Western Conference.
In this trade scenario, the Los Angeles Lakers would have to send out Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a future first-round pick. Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker could definitely use a change of scenery, as both players struggled on the Los Angeles Lakers this season. The future first-round pick would be the real draw here, as it could potentially be very valuable down the line, as by 2027, it is quite likely that the Lakers wouldn't be contenders.
It remains to be seen if the Brooklyn Nets do end up trading Kyrie Irving. There is no doubt that the point guard has frustrated some in the organization, with Nets governor Joe Tsai even liking a Tweet from a Kyrie Irving hater. and perhaps a fresh start for both parties could be beneficial. The Los Angeles Lakers could make that happen while becoming a much better team in the process.
The Nets Get A Consistent Point Guard And Some Future Assets
Obviously, Russell Westbrook is not as good of a player as Kyrie Irving currently. However, he is extremely durable, and would likely play close to all 82 games, something that cannot currently be said about Kyrie Irving. It is highly unlikely that the Los Angeles Lakers would trade away Anthony Davis for the expiring contract of Kyrie Irving, which means that Russell Westbrook's contract would be the salary base in this scenario. Russell Westbrook also has experience playing with Kevin Durant, with the duo notably making the NBA Finals together.
The rest of the trade package features Talen Horton-Tucker and a 2027 first-round pick. Talen Horton-Tucker is a young guard who is a solid slasher and defender, and having him on the roster means the Nets would get better defensively. He has a player option for the 2023-24 season, but perhaps the Brooklyn Nets could end up signing him on a long-term deal if he ends up declining it, or extending him if he accepts it. The 2027 first-round pick could potentially be a valuable asset to trade in a package or to use to pick a prospect in the future.
There is no doubt that the Brooklyn Nets would likely prefer to not trade Kyrie Irving, as he is a fantastic player. But if his heart is set on joining the Los Angeles Lakers, this could be a solid package that keeps them afloat and competitive in the Eastern Conference.