All of the writing was on the wall for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Kyrie Irving following Irving’s demand for a trade late last week. Instead, the Brooklyn Nets traded Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, partly because of the package that Dallas offered and also because of a petty Lakers tax.
This was not a case of the front office being too cheap to trade for Irving. Los Angeles reportedly offered both first-round picks to Brooklyn, which is something the team has not been willing to do in other trade discussions. That was not enough for Brooklyn, who wanted the Lakers to pay far more than any other team on the market.
According to Shams Charania, the Nets informed the Lakers that on top of including both future first-round picks, the team would also have to trade its young talents such as Austin Reaves and Max Christie.
If that was not enough to showcase how unserious the Nets were about trading Irving to Los Angeles, the latest demand from Brooklyn will be. On top of two first-round picks and two promising young players, Brooklyn also reportedly wanted someone who the Lakers legally could not trade: Rui Hachimura (h/t Marc Stein).
Nets demanding Rui Hachimura for Kyrie Irving proves they were negotiating in bad faith with Lakers.
Even if the Los Angeles Lakers wanted to trade Hachimura — who the team just acquired for three second-round picks — they would not be able to because of the NBA’s trade rules. Brooklyn knows this, proving just how unserious the team was in its trade talks with Los Angeles.
It is pretty clear that Brooklyn was never interested in trading Kyrie to Los Angeles and was negotiating in bad faith. Whether this be to upset Irving or to leak information about the trade talks to the media, this is a pretty egregious example of bad-faith negotiating.
This is odd as you would think that Brooklyn would be most concerned with getting the best possible trade return for their star point guard. Instead, Sean Marks and co. seemed more interested in being entertained by the Lakers, only to ship Kyrie off to Dallas for a mediocre trade package with less future value that still does not help the team much this season.
The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on a Kyrie Irving trade and have to pivot if they want to trade Russell Westbrook. Here are the next best options.
But wow! At least they pulled one over on Rob Pelinka. Perhaps they will be hanging this banner in the Barclays Center after they inevitably get bounced in the first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs. It’ll be even better if Irving ends up with the Lakers eventually, anyway.