NBA Rumors: Proposed Lakers-Nets-Spurs Blockbuster Sends Kyrie Irving To LA & Russell Westbrook To San Antonio

Kyrie Irving warming up before the game
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JB Baruelo

Since the 2022 NBA offseason started, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets are heavily engaged in a trade discussion involving All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

The Nets were initially hesitant to make a deal with the Lakers due to their limited trade assets, but as of now, it seems like the Purple and Gold is the only team with a real interest in acquiring "Uncle Drew."

However, to increase their chances of reuniting Irving with LeBron James, the Lakers may need to find a third team willing to absorb Russell Westbrook and his $47 million salary in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Spurs Could Help Facilitate Kyrie Irving Trade

Kyrie Irving making plays for the Nets
Wikimedia | Dudek1337

One of the teams that could help the Lakers and the Nets facilitate an Irving blockbuster trade is the San Antonio Spurs. According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Lakers and the Nets could resolve their "Irving/Westbrook disaster" by involving the Spurs in the blockbuster trade.

The Spurs are among the few rebuilding teams capable of creating enough salary cap space to absorb Westbrook's massive contract. However, to convince them to take the "Brodie," the Lakers should compensate the Spurs with future draft considerations.

Proposed Three-Team Trade

Kyrie Irving waiting for the game to resume
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In the potential blockbuster deal that would require them to sacrifice their remaining future first-round selections, the ideal scenario for the Lakers is to acquire other solid role players who would help them reclaim the throne next season. Here's what a dream three-team trade for the Lakers could look like

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, and Josh Richardson

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Talen Horton Tucker and LA's unprotected 2027 first-round pick

San Antonio Spurs Receive: Russell Westbrook and LA's unprotected 2029 first-round pick

After the trade, the Spurs could negotiate a contract buyout with Westbrook to allow him to join a title contender on a veteran minimum deal.

Lakers Boost Backcourt

Kyrie Irving's facial reaction after an and-1
Shutterstock | 1390159

Sacrificing Horton-Tucker and two future first-round picks should be a no-brainer for the Lakers, especially if they want to maximize the championship window of James and Anthony Davis.

Despite his off-court issues, Irving would be a massive upgrade over Westbrook at the Lakers' starting point guard position, giving them an All-Star-caliber floor general who perfectly knows how to co-exist with James on the court.

Meanwhile, Curry and Richardson would fill the hole Malik Monk left in the Lakers' backcourt. Curry and Richardson would be an ideal fit with James and Davis since they are both elite three-point shooters and could excel in an off-ball capacity.

Why Nets & Spurs Would Make The Trade

Russell Westbrook holding the ball
Wikimedia | Bagumba

With the lack of interest from other NBA teams, the proposed blockbuster deal would already be worth exploring for the Nets. Instead of losing him in the 2023 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, the suggested trade would enable them to swap their disgruntled superstar for assets that could help speed up the rebuilding process.

Also, in the hypothetical blockbuster, the Nets would create a massive trade exception that they could use in future deals.

Meanwhile, acquiring the Lakers' 2029 first-round pick would be appealing for the Spurs. By that time, James, Davis, and Irving are no longer in Los Angeles, giving it a huge possibility for the pick to enter the lottery.