How Lakers and Nets Can Get Better By Swapping Their Toxic Superstars
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets are both broken teams with toxic superstars. For the Lakers, it’s Russell Westbrook who’s a terrible fit. For the Nets, it’s Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons who’ve become pariahs.
As crazy as it might initially seem, the best possible solution for the Lakers and Nets could be to help each other by swapping their problem superstars. Neither is going to be able to make a better trade with any other NBA team.
The proposed trade involves the Los Angeles Lakers trading Russell Westbrook plus Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons in straight deal without any draft picks.
How ironic that the two franchises with the superstar big threes and grand hopes of meeting in the NBA Finals are now viewing each other as possible trading partners to extract them from their self-inflicted trading wounds. Could the reunion of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant be the fresh start solution the Nets need? Could adding Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons to LeBron James and Anthony Davis transform the Lakers into contenders?
Let’s take a closer look at why the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets should be willing to make the proposed trade and how the trade would impact both teams’ prospects both in the short term and long term.
Why the Los Angeles Lakers Should Make the Trade
The Lakers make this trade because it lets them to have their cake and eat it too. The trade not only transform the Lakers into legitimate championship contenders but it also allows them to keep both of their first round picks.
The opportunity to trade Westbrook, Beverley, and Nunn for a toxic Irving and toxic Simmons could be another lethal misfire like trading for Russell Westbrook or a case of the lucky Lakers making lemonade out of lemons.
But the opportunity to acquire two players with superstar talent could be an irresistible opportunity for the Lakers, especially since the trade would enable them to keep both their 2027 and 2029 first round draft picks.
Trading for two troubled superstars like Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons would be an incredibly risky gamble by a Lakers’ front office whose poor roster construction has resulted in two injury and loss filled seasons.
But the reward of not having to give up their 2027 and 2029 first round picks is the grease that makes the trade worth the huge risk for the Lakers and is worth taking on toxic Irving for a year and troubled Simmons for 3 years.
The Lakers would be gambling that adding Irving’s scoring and shooting and Simmons’ size, playmaking, and defense would be a critical first step to transform the current squad into a legitimate championship contender.
The wild cards that make such a trade even conceivable from the Lakers’ point of view is Irving’s history with James and the team’s close alliance with the Klutch Sports Group, agents for James, Davis, and Simmons.
The Lakers rarely hesitate when given an opportunity to trade for superstar talent. The opportunity to acquire Irving and Simmons for Westbrook and filler without including any picks would be one the Lakers could not resist.
Why the Brooklyn Nets Should Make the Trade
The Brooklyn Nets make this trade to replace two players in Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons whose personal toxic problems have derailed the team’s season and threatened its relationship with superstar Kevin Durant.
For the Brooklyn Nets, this trade is about salvaging their relationship with mega superstar Kevin Durant and making moves to stabilize the roster and give KD trust and confidence the franchise is moving in the right direction.
The first step in doing that is to move Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Irving burned his bridges in Brooklyn with his support of an anti-Semitic film and Simmons with his mental inability to shoot while on the court.
Other than the Lakers, there may not be any NBA teams willing to trade Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons considering their toxic baggage. Irving is on an expiring contract but Simmons has 3-years and $113 million left.
What’s fascinating is there’s a case to be made that Westbrook playing alongside Durant could be a good fit on the Nets, who will need a starting point guard after trading both Irving and Simmons to the Lakers.
Westbrook is no longer a major negative factor when he pays thanks to the intervention of Lakers rookie head coach Darvin Ham, who convinced Russ to come off the bench, where he’s played like the 6th Man of the Year.
A possible reunion of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant could be the exact type of landscape change the Brooklyn Nets need. Westbrook’s relentless energy would be a welcome change from Irving and Simmons.
The Nets and Kevin Durant need a fresh start and the best way to do that would be to trade the toxic Irving and dump the broken Simmons and his 3 years and $113 million on the Lakers for Westbrook, Beverley, and Nunn.
If you enjoyed this article and want to share your ideas and comments with other Lakers fans, please join us at Lakerholics.Com.