Lakers not expected to pursue Kevin Durant, focused on Kyrie Irving trade, per report

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Kevin Durant and LeBron James have been arguably the two best players in the NBA for more than a decade now, but could they finally have a chance to team up after Durant’s trade request? According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick, do not count on it. A source close to the situation for The Athletic put the odds of the Lakers offering Anthony Davis in a Durant package at “zero,” and without Davis in the picture, the Lakers simply do not have enough to deal for the 2014 MVP.

That does not mean the Lakers are sitting still, though. They just have their eye on another available member of the Nets: Kyrie Irving. The Lakers have been interested in Irving since before he opted into his contract, and now that he’s seemingly on the trade block, a package built around Westbrook and multiple future first-round picks appears to be viable.

The question becomes how willing the Lakers are to surrender their unprotected first-round picks in either 2027 or 2029. In the past, they have refused to give up those picks to move Westbrook, but Irving, as a star in his prime, might be an exception. Pairing Irving with his former teammate in James and a player he nearly joined up with as a Celtic in Davis would give the Lakers the most talented trio in the NBA.

The Irving situation is unlikely to resolve until Durant’s does. If the Nets could not find an acceptable trade for Durant, they could ultimately decide to keep him, or if there is a team willing to trade for both of them together, that would be something the Nets could explore as well. In the modern NBA, nothing is guaranteed until it actually happens.

But right now, the Lakers seem to have a real chance to land Irving. They might not be getting the best member of the Nets, but they could land the one they’ve wanted all along.

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