Because we have gone too long without a superstar trying to force his way out of his current situation, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving decided to request a trade despite the fact that they have the third-best record in the East and Kevin Durant is coming back from injury soon. This is an unexpected windfall for the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James is clearly frustrated with the fact that his roster has no chance to compete for a championship as currently constructed. The Lakers have been trying to find a way to get off sixth man Russell Westbrook’s deal, and this could present a golden opportunity to do so and reunite James with his former Cavaliers teammate.
Given that the Nets already have one point guard who can’t shoot in Ben Simmons and Durant’s past friction with Westbrook, a straight-up trade centered around the two future Hall of Famers is likely not going to happen. Perhaps a third team could get involved?
With the Nets likely to explore Irving trades and the Lakers having previously contacted the Utah Jazz about a potential Westbrook deal, those two philosophies could come together and create a scenario in which all three parties can shake up their rosters in a meaningful way.
This 3-team trade could help Kyrie Irving join the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers would get a legitimate third star in Irving just in time to make a championship run. If he resigns, Pelinka will have secured a core that should compete for titles regularly. Curry is a significant shot in the arm from behind the arc, which is this team’s biggest weakness.
Taking on the Russ contract would be a blow for Utah, but they could end up with three future first-round picks as part of Danny Ainge’s quest to own 30% of all future picks in the league. Throwing a first-round pick to Brooklyn this year could help them find an Irving replacement in the draft.
The Nets would get a veteran replacement in Conley, all while keeping the offense operating at a high level by adding two high-end shooters in Clarkson and Beasley. When Durant is healthy again, the Nets may have more shooters than any team in the league.
Acquiring Irving will take some masterful GM work, and there is still a chance that he doesn’t even re-sign with the Lakers in the offseason. However, Pelinka is feeling the heat. If he wants to go down swinging and secure in the knowledge he tried to get James a fifth ring, this trade will check that box.