Nets Want Draft Compensation With Russell Westbrook For Kyrie Irving

The Nets are hesitant to take on Russell Westbrook‘s contract in a potential Kyrie Irving trade without “first-round draft compensation,” per Marc Stein of the Stein Line.Russell Westbrook

While the sides have been talking, they seem to be far apart on a deal at the moment.

“League sources maintain that the Nets are A) focused on trying to assemble a palatable Kevin Durant trade before proceeding to Irving scenarios and B) adamant in their resistance to taking back Westbrook in a theoretical Irving swap without, for starters, some first-round draft compensation added by the Lakers,” Stein reported.

One thing seems clear in all this, is that Irving wants to play for the Lakers, and LeBron James and the Lakers really want Irving. Along with that, the Lakers apparently would love to deal Westbrook, who is coming off a fairly uneven season and may not be a fit next to James and Anthony Davis.

In order for the Lakers to land Irving, and deal Westbrook, they may need to recruit a third team. The Spurs could be one possibility, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

The Spurs have the cap space where they could take on Westbrook’s contract, Pincus wrote. Then they would presumably buy out his deal.

In order for such an arrangement to work, the Spurs first would have to shed some salary. Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl are all said to be available.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point, and no changes may be coming for any of the aforementioned.

“At worst, the Lakers can hold onto Westbrook and not overpay in a deal for Irving,” Pincus wrote. “And the Nets can mimic what the Houston Rockets did with John Wall last season and just keep Irving under contract and off the court.”

But again, if Irving gets his way, he could be headed to LA.

“Kyrie Irving absolutely wants to be a Los Angeles Laker,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said. “This we know. The Lakers want Kyrie Irving. This we know. But making that happen, that’s a different story.

“We don’t really get a good feeling there’s any team seriously on the market for Kyrie right now beyond the Lakers. It’s doesn’t mean they don’t like him or value him, they just don’t want to pay a potential price the Nets are asking. This is one of those things where we just have to wait and see.”

Irving opted in to the final year of his contract, making a return to Brooklyn appear as if it were all set. But then Durant requested a trade, suddenly making the Nets’ immediate future extremely uncertain.

“I doubt Kyrie will be back (with the Nets), I think he’ll be on the Lakers, but I don’t know when it will happen,” Windhorst said, again adding that the Lakers seem to be the only team with a strong interest.

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