The drama and speculation over where Kyrie Irving will play next season continues and another former MVP is now involved.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Saturday that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are actively discussing a trade package involving both Russell Westbrook and Irving. Both stars have recently elected to opt-in to the final years of their contract, with Westbrook’s worth $47 million and Irving’s worth $36 million.
This year’s NBA free agency cycle has centered around the Irving and the Nets in the fallout of a chaotic 2021-22 season. The All-Star guard initially toyed around with the idea of parting ways with the franchise before deciding to opt-in, “daring to be different” as he told Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, the peace would not last in Brooklyn as star forward Kevin Durant would request a trade just a few days later. That opened up speculation that the franchise would deal both superstars for considerable trade packages.
As for Westbrook, the former MVP arrived to Los Angeles with much fanfare last summer, but drew the ire of Lakers fans as the season went south. He averaged 18.5 points per game on 44.4% shooting. Even with his decision to opt in, there was still speculation that the franchise would look to move him.