While Irving has requested a trade from the Nets, he has not shared a list of preferred destinations, Wojnarowski reported. It is widely believed he would welcome a trade to the Lakers, where he could rejoin former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. Irving and James won a championship together in Cleveland in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Lakers had been searching for trades ahead of the Irving news on Friday, many centered on guard Russell Westbrook. The Nets and Lakers reportedly discussed an Irving-Westbrook trade over the summer, though the Nets were not interested in acquiring Westbrook’s large, albeit expiring, contract at the time.
It is believed Brooklyn would still not be willing to take back Westbrook in a deal for Irving — and if the sides were to try to consummate a deal, they would need to get a third team involved.
As we relayed earlier, the Lakers have spoken to the Jazz about Westbrook in recent days. They have also spoken to the Spurs and Hornets in search of a trade, sources told Hoops Wire, but it has not been determined if those talks involved Westbrook.
Several sources around the league have told Hoops Wire they envision the Lakers as being Irving’s only possible destination, given his sketchy history with previous franchises. He also requested a trade from the Cavs in 2017 and was suspended earlier this season for retweeting a link to anti-Semitic material. Along with that, Irving was blamed for creating a fractured locker room while with the Celtics in 2019.
Despite some off-the-court areas of concern, Irving continues to be brilliant on it. In 40 games this season, he is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds, shooting 49 percent from the field and 37 percent on 3-pointers.
Hoops Wire will continue to track this story as it develops.
ESPN Sources: Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2023