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Lakers Rumors: Anthony Davis for Kyrie Irving Trade with Nets Unlikely amid Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst shot down the likelihood of a blockbuster trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

On Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, he suggested the only realistic trade offer the Nets would entertain and accept from the Lakers for guard Kyrie Irving is one involving power forward Anthony Davis.

Windhorst noted that he has looked into the possibility of that trade happening but does "not see" it coming to pass.

Instead, he believes the Nets and Irving will come to an agreement on a short-term deal since Brooklyn reportedly doesn't want to sign Kyrie to a long contract that is fully guaranteed.

While Windhorst doesn't see a Davis-for-Irving swap happening, it is easy to understand why the Lakers and Nets may have apprehension about moving forward with Davis and Irving, respectively.

AD is among the NBA's most dominant players when healthy, and he played a huge role in leading the Lakers to a championship two years ago.

Health has been an issue for Davis in recent years, though, as injuries limited him to 36 games in 2020-21 and 40 games last season.

With Davis missing significant time, the Lakers could only muster a first-round playoff loss in 2021 and failed to make the playoffs last season with a massively disappointing 33-49 record.

Availability hasn't necessarily been Irving's strong suit in recent years either, which could explain why the Nets would even entertain the idea of parting ways with him.

On Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Irving and the Nets are "at an impasse" regarding his future with the franchise, meaning he may opt for free agency and consider other options, such as the Lakers.

Irving appeared in just 29 regular-season games during the 2021-22 campaign partly because of his decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Nets initially kept him inactive because of their desire to not deploy him as a part-time player, but they changed their minds amid a rash of injuries and positive COVID-19 tests.

It wasn't until the latter part of the season that New York City changed its COVID-19 protocols, allowing Kyrie to play in home games.

Being unvaccinated shouldn't cause Irving to miss any games next season aside from potentially those held in Toronto, but it may still be cause for concern for the Nets and other teams regarding how committed Kyrie is to team success.

For the Lakers, there is also the subject of how well Irving would mesh with LeBron James after their tenure together with the Cleveland Cavaliers ended under less-than-ideal circumstances with Kyrie requesting a trade, reportedly because of his desire to be the go-to guy.

Irving has softened in recent years, though, even suggesting that a lack of maturity was to blame for his trade request.

LeBron and Kyrie have won a championship before as a dynamic duo, while the pairing of Davis and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn could be special in the event that both players stay healthy.

For now, Windhorst is of the belief that both players will remain with their current teams, as Davis is under contract through at least 2024 and Kyrie could receive a new deal from the Nets or perhaps even opt in for next season.

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