Lakers Plan B After No Kyrie Irving Trade
With the February 9th trade deadline coming up quickly, the Lakers will shift to ‘plan B’ options after Kyrie Irving was traded to the Mavericks.
Rob Pelinka and the front office tried to make a move for Irving, but Nets owner Joe Tsai did not want to trade him to LA. Irving’s preferred destination was to land with the purple & gold, but Tsai would not let that happen. Tsai asked for the Lakers to send Russell Westbrook, two first-round picks, Austin Reaves, Max Christie, and Rui Hachimura. Hachimura wasn’t even eligible to be traded after LA acquired him a few weeks ago.
The Brooklyn Nets also would’ve wanted Rui Hachimura in a potential Kyrie Irving deal, per @TheSteinLine— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 6, 2023
Due to trade rules, Lakers were unable to add Hachimura in a trade package
(Via https://t.co/O1xoXoUljm) pic.twitter.com/FtW0QidNV5
The front office plans to remain active on the trade market, looking for deals both small and large, according to Jovan Buha.
A large deal would include Westbrook, while a smaller deal would involve Patrick Beverley and possibly Lonnie Walker IV. Any trade they make will likely involve draft capital, whether it’s first or second-round picks.
In the wake of the Kyrie Irving trade, the two teams that have repeatedly popped up as Plan B options for the Lakers are the Jazz and Raptors, sources tell @jovanbuha.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) February 6, 2023
The Hornets, Spurs and Bulls are three other teams to watch, per those sources.https://t.co/34fbRldmkL
They have been in contact with the Jazz and Raptors as potential trade partners. A trade with Utah would likely involve Westbrook, where the Lakers would look for role players and depth in return. The Jazz could send Jarred Vanderbilt, Mike Conley, and Malik Beasley in this trade. They could also move Rudy Gay or Jordan Clarkson.
The Raptors are the ideal trade partner if Pelinka can get a deal done. Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet would fill the Lakers' biggest needs. Trent Jr. and VanVleet could opt out of their player options and enter free agency in the offseason. Toronto is in 12th place, and the Eastern Conference and they are expected to be sellers at the deadline.
The ideal scenario is for Pelinka to get a trade with the Raptors done. The Jazz deal could also help Darvin Ham’s rotation have more depth.
The Hornets, Spurs, and Bulls are other teams to watch as potential trade partners with LA. Charlotte has players like Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, PJ Washington, and Mason Plumlee that could fit the roster. San Antonio could offer players like Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl, and Doug McDermott.
Chicago could also be an intriguing trade, whether it’s a small or large deal. If Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan are available, Pelinka could pursue a third star. If not, they could be interested in a reunion with Alex Caruso and acquiring another wing in Javonte Green.
While the Lakers didn’t get Irving, they have plenty of avenues to make another move. The Raptors would be the ideal trade package, but other quality options are on the table.
LeBron James on the Lakers' inability to trade for Kyrie Irving: "I can't sit here and say I'm not disappointed (at) not being able to land such a talented (player) ... that can help you win championships. ... But my focus has shifted now."— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 6, 2023
(Via @TheSteinLine) pic.twitter.com/PK9b8VVPlB
LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the LakeShow to a title in 2020, surrounded by quality role players. A trade to improve depth could give them a shot to compete for the franchise's 18th championship.
With the February 9th trade deadline approaching, who do you want Pelinka and the front office to trade for? Should they make a large deal involving Westbrook or a small deal involving Beverley and possibly Walker IV?