Kevin Durant and LeBron James have arguably been the two best players in the NBA for over a decade, but could they finally get a chance to team up after the Nets’ player trade request?
According to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic, don’t count on it. A source close to The Athletic’s situation has put the Lakers’ chances of offering Anthony Davis in a package for Durant is “zero”.
That doesn’t mean the Lakers are at a standstill, though. They have their eyes on another available member of the Nets: Kyrie Irving. The Lakers have been interested in Irving since before he opted for his contract, and now that he’s apparently available on the market, a package built around Westbrook and several future first-round picks appear to be viable.
The question is how much are the Lakers willing to give up their unprotected first-round picks in 2027 or 2029. In the past, they’ve refused to give up those picks to move Westbrook, but Irving, as a star in his prime, might be an exception. Pairing Irving with LeBron and a player he nearly teamed up with in the Celtics at Davis would give the Lakers the most talented trio in the NBA.
It is unlikely that Irving’s situation will resolve itself until Durant’s. If the Nets can’t find an acceptable trade for Durant, they might decide to keep him, or if there’s a team willing to trade the two together, that would be something the Nets could also explore. In the modern NBA, nothing is guaranteed until it actually happens.
But now, the Lakers look like they have a real chance to fight for Irving. The board may not get the best player on the Nets, but they can get what they’ve always wanted.