The Lakers-Kyrie Irving speculation that encapsulated the NBA, along with the Kevin Durant trade chatter, has died off considerably as of late. Several insiders have cited the Lakers resistance to burning both their future first-round picks (2027 & 2029) as the main reason a deal with the Nets hasn’t transpired.
However, one insider believes that the Lakers will not only trade for Kyrie, but will also nab their reported back-up option as well in Pacers guard Buddy Hield.
CBS SportsSam Quinn provided his prognostication on Monday morning, just moments after The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Boston Celtics had offered a package centered around forward Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant.
Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving and Buddy Hield
Pacers Receive: Russell Westbrook and LA’s 2029 first-round pick
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Nets Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, LA’s 2027 first-round pick, and two second-round picks (presumably from the Lakers)
It’s difficult to fix each team’s problems in a three-team deal, but Quinn’s proposed trade definitely gets the Lakers what they desire: a new running mate for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, plus a sorely needed quality shooter in Buddy Hield.
The viability of the hypothetical trade hinges on the Lakers doing an about face on their current stance on trading both future firsts.
On the Brooklyn front, Talen Horton-Tucker and three picks, including LA’s 2027 first, seems a little light as a return for Kyrie, but it does accomplish the Nets riding themselves of Kyrie, not taking Russell Westbrook, and rebuilding some of the draft capital they expended in the James Harden trade with Houston.
The Pacers are in full blown rebuild mode and like the 2027 pick, the Lakers 2029 first could be a viable asset in the post LeBron-era. Russell Westbrook famously thrived on the small market Thunder, and could help add intrigue to a tanking Indiana team this coming season. Indiana could also negotiate a buyout with Westbrook.
On the surface, Quinn’s predicted trade would be a net win for the Lakers, at least for this coming season.