LeBron James met with G.M. Rob Pelinka last week to negotiate a new contract extension.
However, maybe there was more to the conversation. According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, the Lakers are now more than willing to offer the Nets their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks.
“The Lakers are now reportedly willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal with Kyrie Irving,” explains Winfield.
“Earlier in the offseason, the Nets were unwilling to take back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their stance remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.”
Lakers offering multiple first-round draft picks for Kyrie Irving
LeBron turns 38 this December. If the front office feels the Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron trio aren’t enough to win another championship, a trade could be in the works. Not to mention, James could be having the same feeling.
With the Lakers last season, the four-time Finals MVP averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Though, LeBron appeared in 56 games. And Davis played just 40 games in the 2021-22 season as well.
Plus, James was Irving’s teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014 through 2017. The Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in seven games of the 2016 NBA Finals.
So, Bron knows what he’s getting himself into by asking the Lakers front office to trade for his former teammate. Considering Los Angeles fell short of qualifying for the play-in tournament last season, it wouldn’t hurt the team to add more firepower to the roster. Irving could be that guy.
Should the front office pursue Kevin Durant instead?
While Irving is a good player for offensive production, are the Lakers better off attempting a trade for Kevin Durant? Now, such a move would open a huge can of worms for a long list of logical reasons.
For starters, how would the team afford him? A sign-and-trade deal is out of the question because it would trigger the Lakers’ hard cap.
Additionally, G.M. Rob Pelinka can expect nothing less than surrendering three first-round draft picks, Westbrook and quite a few role players for the two-time NBA champion. Even then, Nets G.M. Sean Marks could ask for Davis as well.
Yesterday, on top of several first-round draft picks, one report surfaced that Marks was also seeking Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum from the Celtics in a hypothetical trade scenario.
The Lakers or Celtics would have to tear apart their teams in order to trade for Durant. Therefore, this might explain why Pelinka and James prefer Irving over Durant.
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