At one point in the 2021-2022 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers considered making a trade for mercurial Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers and Nets both had disappointing seasons for very different reasons. Injuries to LA’s top stars seriously hampered their success, and the disappointing play of Russell Westbrook certainly didn’t help. Brooklyn also had injury issues, but locker room drama and Kyrie Irving’s anti-vaccination stance led to him missing nearly all of the team’s home games because of vaccine mandates in New York City.
Rumors months ago claimed that some in the Nets organization pondered the idea of trading the player they signed to a 4-year, $136 million contract before the 2019-2020 season as he continued to miss games. And it seems that while the Lakers went through their own struggles en route to missing the playoffs, some decision-makers in the franchise pondered bringing in Irving to help turn their season around.
Los Angeles Lakers pondered a season reboot with Kyrie Irving
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley reported the rumor in a Friday column. “Several outlets, including SNY, reported that the Nets had been open to talking to teams about potential Irving trades during that time. Obviously, nothing came to fruition. But some members of the Lakers organization discussed the possibility of trading for Irving during that stretch of the season, sources say,” Begley wrote.
Irving landing in Los Angeles would have led to a surprise reunion with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates and championship-winning wingman Lebron James. It is unclear what would have been sent back to the Nets in a possible deal, but it is likely Westbrook would have been one of the pieces in the deal.
Westbrook going to Brooklyn would have also created a shocking reunion with Kevin Durant, his teammate for eight seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.