Report: Lakers, Nets ‘actively engaged’ in Westbrook-Irving trade discussions

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving reacts after sinking a basket during the second half of the opening basketball game of the NBA play-in tournament against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are “actively engaged” in trade discussions centred around packages including star guards Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving, sources tell Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

The Nets maintain that the talks have only been preliminary at this point, Haynes adds.

The reported discussions come just days after Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant requested a trade from the franchise.

Westbrook ($47.1 million) and Irving ($36.5 million) opted into their player options for the 2022-23 season.

Both players are coming off tumultuous campaigns with Irving playing in just 29 games, primarily due to his vaccination status, and Westbrook registering his lowest points-per-game total since the 2009-10 season.

A trade could potentially reunite both guards with their former All-NBA teammates — Westbrook with Durant, and Irving with LeBron James. Though, with Durant trade speculation in full force, a reunion on that end may not be as likely.

Westbrook and Durant played alongside one another for eight seasons as part of the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008-2016. The two led the team to an NBA Finals appearance in the 2011-12 season in just the franchise’s fourth campaign since relocation from Seattle.

The All-Stars were split up after the 2015-16 season when Durant accepted a contract offer from the Golden State Warriors, who had just pulled off a 3-1 comeback for the ages to defeat the Thunder in a seven-game Western Conference Finals.

The Irving and James duo was a highly productive one for the Cleveland Cavaliers, culminating in trips to the finals in each of their three seasons playing together (2015-2017) and one championship (2016). Irving requested a trade from Cleveland in the off-season following their 2017 finals loss to the Warriors.

Westbrook has averaged 22.8 points, 8.4 assists and 7.4 rebounds in his 14-year career, while Irving has registered 23.1 points, 5.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 11 seasons since entering the league.

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