The Lakers and Nets have completely stopped in their business negotiations over Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving. While there were multiple aspects of the trade negotiated by both sides, this pause was largely a result of the Lakers’ reluctance to include multiple first-round picks in the trade to offload Westbrook and the Nets’ insistence on the matter.
The lack of urgency on the matter for the Lakers was a fair stance to take in discussions, but as the summer progressed and the season approached, the heat was slowly building for the Lakers to do something with Westbrook with the situation seemingly unbearable.
The move may have finally come on Wednesday when Christian Winfield was from New York Daily News She reported that the Lakers are now ready to submit a second first-round draft.
Elsewhere, there doesn’t seem to be much attraction to a Durant deal, although the Los Angeles Lakers are now willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving. Earlier in the season, the Nets were unwilling to bring back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their position remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.
If that’s the case, it’s an unsurprising move for the Lakers in the long run. It always felt like a negotiating position not to include first-round picks and one that the Lakers would likely budge on in the end.
Getting the chance to trade with a player like Kyrie is something that doesn’t come around often, and doing so by getting rid of Ross’ contract also feels like a golden opportunity. The Lakers were going to play hard ball for a while, but you can’t negotiate yourself out of a deal like this by not including a draft pick seven years into the future.
The question would be whether this was enough for the Nets to budge themselves or if a third team – like the Utah Jazz for example – needed to include it to make things work. But the Lakers acted first and now we’ll see what a counter-move to Brooklyn might be.
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