Amid rumors about their interest in Kyrie Irving, the Los Angeles Lakers recently went in a different direction for trade talks with the Indiana Pacers.
Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers and Pacers discussed a "multiplayer deal" that went "nowhere" because Indiana didn't think the offer was good enough to continue talking.
McMenamin didn't specify which players were discussed by either side before talks stopped. He did speculate about the possibility that the Lakers opened talks with the Pacers either as a viable alternative or because they don't think the Brooklyn Nets are serious about sending Irving to Los Angeles in a potential trade.
There has been intense speculation about Irving potentially becoming a Laker this offseason.
B/R's Jake Fischer said on the Please Don't Aggregate This podcast (h/t Donny McHenry of Silver Screen and Roll) that Los Angeles "felt there was pretty good momentum" on an Irving-Russell Westbrook trade getting "close to the finish line" last weekend.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported about talks between the two teams on July 2, noting two of the key talking points that had to be ironed out were draft compensation going to Brooklyn and the inclusion of a secondary piece going back to the Lakers.
According to Haynes, the Nets wanted the Lakers to take Joe Harris and the $38.6 million left on his contract in the trade. The Lakers were "disinclined to the inclusion of Harris" and were more interested in Seth Curry, who has an $8.5 million expiring contract in 2022-23, coming back with Irving.
The Pacers would make sense as a potential alternative for the Lakers if they don't like where things are going with the Nets. Los Angeles was interested in acquiring Buddy Hield from the Sacramento Kings last offseason before the Westbrook deal happened.
Hield, Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thompson were traded to Indiana for Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis and a 2023 second-round draft pick on Feb. 8.
It's unclear what direction the Pacers are looking to take next season. They agreed to trade Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics last week for a package of five players and a 2023 first-round draft pick.
The Lakers have yet to make a big splash so far this offseason. They have agreed to deals with role players like Lonnie Walker IV, Damian Jones, Thomas Bryant and Juan Toscano-Anderson but no one who seems likely to move the needle playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.