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Lakers Trade Rumors: Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook Talks 'Have Not Progressed'

Adam WellsJuly 16, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

There doesn't appear to be any sense of urgency right now for the Los Angeles Lakers to make a deal for Kyrie Irving.

Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have engaged in contract talks in recent weeks about a deal involving Irving and Russell Westbrook, but those discussions "have not progressed toward an agreement."

As the Nets continue to figure out their next steps in the wake of Kevin Durant's trade request, there doesn't appear to be a robust market for Irving if he's going to get dealt.

Before Irving opted in to his $36.5 million salary for next season, the seven-time All-Star was reportedly looking to facilitate a sign-and-trade deal to another team.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers were the only club with interest in executing a sign-and-trade agreement with the Nets for Irving at the time.

No agreement materialized because Wojnarowski noted the Nets had "no interest in taking back the available Lakers packages" for Irving.

Since the Lakers and Nets are both well into the luxury tax, they will need to either have matching salaries in a one-to-one trade or bring in other teams to help facilitate a deal.

Westbrook would almost certainly have to be included in any offer the Lakers make in an offer for Irving. The former NBA MVP is entering the final season of his current contract with a $47.1 million salary in 2022-23.

New Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has spoken about his plans to try to maximize Westbrook's ability in the offense. It doesn't necessarily mean he is going to remain with the club, but the possibility certainly seems to exist given how little market there seems to be for him.

Irving is a better player at this point than Westbrook, but he's always been a mercurial figure throughout his NBA career. The 30-year-old has averaged 27.1 points, 6.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds with a 40.6 three-point percentage in three seasons with the Nets.

The Lakers are likely looking to make a splash this offseason after missing the playoffs last season with a 33-49 record.

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