The Los Angeles Lakers have made it clear that they are interested in acquiring Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets.
Both front offices seem to be on the same page as far as a desire to make something happen.
The question is: can they cobble together a suitable deal for both sides?
This week, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski identified the San Antonio Spurs specifically as a team that could play a key role in helping push this thing into the end zone.
“A team like the Spurs could be a facilitator in a [Russell] Westbrook/Kyrie deal,” Wojnarowski said, per TalkBasketball.net.
“You’d have to incentivize them at a pretty high level. That unwillingness of the Lakers to incentivize with multiple picks is still part of the reason that hasn’t gone anywhere yet. That could change.”
The problem here, of course, is that historically the Spurs have not been very open to helping the Lakers. In fact the team’s head coach, Gregg Popovich, takes great joy in screwing the purple and gold at every possible turn.
It’s hard to see that changing any time soon.
A general framework for a Lakers-Nets trade centered around Irving has emerged over the past week. Two players are currently holding it up, and the inclusion of a third team would make things a lot easier for everyone.
That said – it’s also easy to see why teams around the NBA wouldn’t be eager to help L.A. Clearly LeBron James really wants Irving as his teammate again. The pair wouldn’t be staging secret meetings together if that weren’t the case.
But the league as a whole doesn’t care what James wants. They want the Lakers to struggle in 2022-23 the way they did in 2021-22. And the best way to ensure that happens is by keeping Irving off the roster, and Westbrook on it.
Baker Mayfield’s wife kept it real. https://t.co/AWW2BFrAnd
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 7, 2022
It seems like there is some momentum to make things happen here, but not a ton.
Will the Spurs finally budge off their steadfast refusal to help the Lakers and assist in facilitating this massive trade?
Time will tell.