NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving To Lakers, Terry Rozier To Nets In Suggested Three-Way Blockbuster Involving Hornets

Kyrie Irving reaction after successful play
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JB Baruelo

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams that are expected to make big moves in the 2022 NBA offseason. Despite missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 NBA season, the Lakers remain committed to building a legitimate title contender around the veteran superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the past months, they have already been linked to several big names who could become available on the trade and free agency market this summer.

One of the most intriguing targets for the Lakers in the 2022 NBA free agency is All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

Proposed Three-Team Trade With Nets & Hornets

Kyrie Irving waiting for the game to resume
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The Lakers may have a limited salary cap space but if Irving expresses his desire to join them, they could engage in a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets in the 2022 NBA free agency. In a recent article, James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical sign-and-trade scenario that would enable the Lakers to acquire Irving from the Nets. In the proposed three-way trade, the Lakers would get Irving, the Nets would receive Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward, and the Charlotte Hornets would obtain Russell Westbrook, Patty Mills, and a 2027 first-round pick.

Kyrie Irving Reunites With LeBron James

Kyrie Irving guarding LeBron James
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The proposed blockbuster deal would make a lot of sense for the Lakers as it would allow them to replace Westbrook with an All-Star point guard who has experienced playing with James. Irving and James played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons where they made three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title in 2016. Despite how things ended between them in Cleveland, Irving and James would definitely love the idea of teaming up again in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Kyrie Irving Boosts Lakers' Championship Odds

Kyrie Irving playing defense
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Despite his vaccination stance, Irving would still be an incredible acquisition for the Lakers. Aside from his history with James, Irving is also a much better point guard than Westbrook. Irving would give the Lakers a new starting point guard who can co-exist with other superstars and can efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. This season, he averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 41.8 perfect from the three-point range.

When all of them are healthy, the trio of Irving, James, and Davis would undoubtedly make the Lakers the heavy favorite to fully dominate the Western Conference and capture the Larry O'Brien Trophy next year.

Why Nets & Hornets Would Make The Trade

Terry Rozier lays up the ball
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The proposed three-team trade would be worth exploring for the Nets, especially if they want to remain competitive next season. Instead of losing Irving in the 2023 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, the suggested deal would enable them to acquire two solid veteran role players who would help Kevin Durant carry the team. Rozier could immediately replace Irving as the Nets' new starting point guard, while Hayward could serve as the team's sixth man.

For the Hornets, the hypothetical blockbuster is about obtaining financial flexibility. Unlike Hayward and Rozier who still have more than one year left in their respective deals, Westbrook's contract is set to expire after the 2022-23 NBA season. Aside from creating salary cap space in the summer of 2023, the Hornets would also acquire a reliable backup for LaMelo Ball in Mills and a future first-round selection.