Leverage in trade negotiations is unstable. For a moment you think you have the upper hand, then you wonder how the hell you got to a place where you have no chance of getting the bundle you once thought you could get at a bargain. Life comes to you fast, and in the NBA, hesitation can often cost you dearly.
The Lakers likely headed into this offseason hoping for perhaps star-caliber talent in exchange for Russell Westbrook, but were presumably willing to split his contract into a few smaller deals, even if it meant no one would come back with anything. close to his curriculum vitae.
Suddenly, however, thanks to a nightmarish month in Brooklyn, Rob Pelinka had a chance to land Kyrie Irving for below market price. Today in the “Lakers Lounge”, Harrison Faigen and I argued that they had waited long enough and that the risk of missing out on Irving and (sip) to start the season with Westbrook is too high if the only advantage is a first round in almost ten years.
Let’s put it this way: If I told you right after Westbrook’s infamous exit interview, in which he blamed virtually everyone but himself for last season, it would only cost two first-round picks and another disappointing money from last year to turn him and his bloated contract with Kyrie Irving and, potentially, more help, you’d jump at the chance.
Of course, the risk is that you trade for Irving, sign him for an extension, and he dedicates his life to space travel to prove the geometric dimensions of planet Earth, but as long as his feet are on the floor and his head is in the game, he’s a perfect offensive fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
So what’s the heist? According to Jovan Buha of Athleticism it could have already been done. What are they waiting for?
It’s clear that Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets don’t want to look weak because the stars are all looking for insane draft packages, so throw in the second pick and a few extra contracts and bring in the desperately needed shooting that this roster lacks right now.
Of course, the patience could pay off and they could still have the opportunity to recruit a child who is currently preparing for puberty as well as Irving’s services. But the trade winds could just as easily change and the Lakers could end up with a pair of stars who literally wouldn’t watch each other in the same arena a week ago.
No, the risk is far from the reward here. Do it, Rob.
Harrison and I discussed all of this, the Deandre Ayton situation (Disclaimer: Phoenix had not yet matched their offer while we were recording)Jeanie Buss’ latest attempt to escape responsibility for a front office clown show she oversees, and more.
You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast stream at itunes, Spotify, embroiderer Where Google Podcasts.
And for an abbreviated summary, see Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the news from the night before and gets you ready for the day at LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast Stream.