Even after Kyrie Irving opted-in with the Brooklyn Nets, his name has been caught in the NBA Trade Rumor Mill after Kevin Durant requested a way out of the franchise. On the other hand, Russell Westbrook’s situation is not so different, it’s the franchise who wants to add star power alongside LeBron James, not that Russell Westbrook has shown any desire to leave the Lakers. And now that the latest rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Kyrie Irving in exchange for Russell Westbrook to the Brooklyn Nets are gaining attraction more than ever. Former NBA star Kendrick Perkins gave the Lakers’ front office some advice on how to handle the trade.
As per Perkins, the “finished” product is what matters most for any party. Though the Lakers have shown keen interest in keeping Westbrook for a longer period, he is their only viable trade chip to get another mega star to the franchise. Also, his last season’s performances have not done any favors.
But Kendrick Perkins extends his advice to Lakers in particular. As he spoke on a talk show, “The Lakers be very, very careful, right. When dealing with Russell Westbrook. Say, if it doesn’t happen. Now, you have to worry about putting the band-aid over this wound.” Perkins argues that Russell Westbrook is a very emotional star, who might get hurt with the “trade try”, and if it’s not done, the Lakers might end up hurting 33-years guard and hamper his development at the Lakers.
Probably he might end up being “2022 Russell Westbrook” instead of making any efforts to improve. Very well, Perkins has personal experience of the same.
Will Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving be traded before the start of 2022-23 season?
Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving had sensational careers in the league so far – if we wipe out the last 1~2 seasons from their books. Los Angeles Lakers made move for Westbrook in 2021, looking at his immensely impactful resume. He won the scoring championship twice, led the league in assists thrice, and even won the regular-season MVP award in 2017.
He would have been a perfect “third superstar” to their 2020 NBA champion pair LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But things didn’t turn out as expected and rather Lakers were left pale-faced for trading away their maximum assets for a California-born star guard.
Lakers’ new head coach Darvin Ham did mention Westbrook as an important piece in his plans for the franchise, but The Los Angeles Lakers might be making a move away from a “bit disappointed guard.” Russell averaged 18.5 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t efficient. He shot 44% from the field, and his outside shooting of 29% is what caught the attention of everyone. The results were not “impactful enough” for the demanding 17-time NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers franchise.
After a dreadful first season with the nine-time All-Star, the Los Angeles Lakers are quickly deciding to move on. Following Westbrook’s decision to opt into the last year of his contract, the Lakers decided to offer him in exchange for Irving – another guard with huge potential.
Irving’s story at the Nets is not so different, just that he was productive – unlike Westbrook for his franchise, but was not available when needed due to some personal issues and injuries. Brooklyn Nets, after the 2012 Rookie of the season’s unprofessional off-court behaviors are looking to trade him, just like Westbrook.
So, Kyrie-for-Westbrook would reunite Irving with LeBron and Westbrook with Durant (if he stays) where they spent most of their young careers together. And maybe that might rejuvenate their careers a bit. Laker might wish their pair could do similar magic like the 2016 Championship run.