The Los Angeles Lakers have made it an open secret that they want to add Kyrie Irving.
That said – the deal may or may not happen at this point.
If it doesn’t, the front office will need to cash in its trade chips on another move.
At the moment, L.A. feels like there are two major holes that need to be plugged heading into the 2022-23 NBA season.
“Rob Pelinka has still been very active even kind of in the dog days of August,” ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported this week.
“He’s been on the phone a lot. He’s still trying to find deals to bring in more shooting, perhaps some size. I think those conversations continue all the way into training camp and the start of the season. I still think this Lakers roster may look maybe not dramatically different but subtly different going into next season.”
Adding size and three-point shooting is crucial for the Lakers. Good shooting, especially, really eluded the team last season. They ranked 22nd in percentage, 17th in attempts and 18th in made threes in 2021-22.
So far this offseason L.A. has been linked to two prominent sharpshooters – but nothing has materialized as of yet.
It is worth noting, the Lakers have a couple of trade assets that would be very appealing to other teams: their 2027 first-round pick and their 2029 first-round pick. Thus far, they’ve been willing to attach them to a deal for Irving, but not for anyone else.
“The Lakers would be willing to do that in a Kyrie Irving trade… Myles Turner and Buddy Hield they’ve not been willing to give up two future firsts.” pic.twitter.com/AgmZzlPHGK
— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) August 18, 2022
“Lakers are active in trade talks around the league,” Wojnarowski added.
“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.”
Between Russell Westbrook getting increasingly aggressive with his Lakers-hating on social media and the regular season rapidly approaching, L.A. needs to make something happen. It could be Irving; it could be something else.
But changes need to occur.
Now that’s how you prepare for a Super Bowl season. https://t.co/QI03wP0rZv
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 17, 2022
If Plan A, Irving, isn’t happening – it’s time to move on.
What will the Lakers ultimately look like come 2022-23?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.