Lakers Rumors: LA Wants Seth Curry over Joe Harris in Possible Kyrie Irving Trade

Adam WellsJuly 2, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Seth Curry of Brooklyn Nets warms up before NBA playoffs between Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn of New York City, United States on April 25, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers might be able to swap Russell Westbrook for Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, but a key sticking point in talks at this point revolves around which secondary piece would be included.

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, the Lakers want Brooklyn to include Seth Curry in the package, while the Nets want to send Joe Harris to Los Angeles.

The two sides are also discussing draft compensation in the deal.

There is a significant difference in the contracts for the two Nets sharpshooters being discussed.

Curry is owed $8.5 million in 2022-23, the final season of his four-year deal that was originally signed in July 2019. Harris has $38.6 million and two seasons left on his four-year, $75 million contract.

The Lakers are already into the luxury tax with $163.5 million in salary commitments for next season. They have an estimated $24.2 million luxury tax payment in addition to their payroll.

There's roughly $10.5 million in salary difference between Westbrook ($47.1 million) and Irving ($36.5 million) next season. The combined salaries for Irving and Harris would increase Los Angeles' payroll by around $8 million from its current mark.

Prior to the trade deadline in February, ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne said on The Hoop Collective Podcast (h/t CBS Sports' Sam Quinn) that the Lakers were largely quiet because they didn't want to take on more money.

"They would do something if it was low-hanging fruit, but they weren't really willing to feel any pain, whether that was luxury tax money, whether that was more encumberment in the future, whether that was draft compensation," Shelburne said.

There are other reasons for the Lakers to prioritize Curry over Harris in talks. Harris only appeared in 14 games last season due to an ankle injury that required surgery in March.

The initial thought when Harris suffered the injury early in the season was that he would only miss four to eight weeks. Given how it continued to be a problem and needed to be surgically repaired, it's unclear how effective the 30-year-old will be when he returns.

Curry has had his own injury issues, with a combined 33 games missed in the past two seasons. But there's a higher degree of certainty with him at this point.

Both players are lights-out shooters with identical 43.9 percent success rates from three-point range in their careers.

The Lakers certainly need to make significant adjustments to their roster coming off a disappointing 2021-22 season. They finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record.