The Kyrie Irving-to-the-Lakers watch continues, even through a national holiday. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports greased the shifter up to another gear on Saturday when he reported that the Lakers and Nets are "actively engaged" in trade conversations surrounding Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook.
Now, Haynes did note that the Nets are going to take their time and not rush in to a trade. That could be the truth, or it could be James-Harden-Ben-Simmons level posturing to get the most out of the Lakers in the Kyrie deal. The fact that Brooklyn is even considering acquiring Russell Westbrook seems like a small victory for Lakers fans.
In his weekend report, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein discussed how Kevin Durant's trade request might have re-opened the door for Kyrie on the Lakers to turn into a reality.
"Yet the prospect of trading for Irving, thanks to Durant’s trade demand, is suddenly the most realistic trade scenario to emerge for months that would enable the Lakers to move on from their Westbrook Experiment. The Durant Sweepstakes can still go many different directions, but it is impossible to ignore the growing expectation leaguewide that a LeBron & Kyrie reunion in Lakerland looms."
Stein did note the luxury tax implications for the Nets in acquiring Westbrook since Russ is owed more than $10M more than Irving is next year. That fact further colors Haynes' report that the Nets want to include three-point specialist Joe Harris and the $38.6M he's owed over the next two years in a Kyrie Irving-for-Russell Westbrook swap.
In that same article, Stein reported that LeBron James wants to see Irving on the Lakers "more than anyone".
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the long weekend that there's "no traction" on a deal for Irving, but once again, that could be the Nets publicly posturing in a deal that could still realistically be consummated in the coming weeks.