Lakers Rumors: LA Willing to Include 2 1st-Round Draft Picks in Kyrie Irving Trade

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2022

Kyrie Irving (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly now "willing to include" two first-round draft picks in a potential trade for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving.

L.A.'s reluctance to add a second Round 1 selection has been a snag in talks throughout the offseason, but Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday the Lakers have decided to put both their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders on the table in trade talks.

It's the first sign of tangible progress toward a possible blockbuster deal that would reunite Irving with LeBron James after they captured an NBA championship together with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

There are still several hurdles to jump before a potential agreement, though.

First, the Nets haven't shown a willingness to take on the final season of Russell Westbrook's five-year, $206.8 million contract in the trade, which means the sides would need to find a third team willing to take Russ, likely in exchange for draft compensation.

Second, Brooklyn is still trying to handle a trade request from Kevin Durant, which is going to shape the franchise's direction based on whether the return is focused on established veterans or a package of younger players and draft picks.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported last week the Nets aren't likely to deal Irving "until there is clarity on Durant."

Finally, the Lakers' front office probably wants some clarity, too.

James and Irving are both entering the final year of their contracts, while Anthony Davis has two guaranteed seasons left on his deal with an early-termination option for 2024-25.

If L.A. is going to move two more of its limited number of future assets, it'd likely want some type of guarantee its championship window will be open for more than just next season.

An extension agreement with LeBron for at least two years in coordination with a Kyrie trade would soften the blow of including the 2027 and 2029 picks.

The Irving contract situation will be trickier. Fox Sports' Ric Bucher reported (via HoopsHype) the seven-time All-Star is seeking contractual guarantees where he'll play a maximum of 60 games per year while sitting out at least one contest in back-to-backs.

So there are still ample moving parts, and the limited progress on the Durant situation means the Lakers may have to wait awhile for a resolution.

Putting another first-round pick on the table ensures talks could move quicker if the Nets signal they're ready to move Irving before the 2022-23 campaign, though.


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