The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers were two of the most disappointing teams this season. They entered the season as the top two favorites to win the crown but fell way short.
The Lakers did not make the playoffs, while the Nets’ season ended in an embarrassing first-round sweep.
Kyrie Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated was a sliding door moment for the Nets this season. Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ injury woes and the ill-fated Russell Westbrook trade scuttled the Lakers’ championship aspirations.
It’s fair to wonder if they could have fared better had a trade swapping their star point guards materialized.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported Saturday that the Lakers thought about reuniting Irving with James. The pair won Cleveland’s first NBA championship in a dramatic 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
“Several outlets, including SNY, reported that the Nets had been open to talking to teams about potential Irving trades during that time. Obviously, nothing came to fruition. But some members of the Lakers organization discussed the possibility of trading for Irving during that stretch of the season, sources say,” Begley wrote.
Irving also wondered about his uncertain future during his exile from the Nets due to his ineligibility to play at home.
“I was wondering at home what my future was going to look like, you know? Whether I was going to be traded, whether I was going to be released, whether I was going to get the opportunity to be on another team, how I was going to spin this for myself in a positive way,” Irving said on Boardroom’s The ETCs podcast.
With everything that went wrong with the Lakers, it’s safe to assume that Westbrook was the player they planned to send out to the Nets had they pursued the Irving trade.
The Nets would have to add player/s to match salaries.
Irving-James reunion in Los Angeles. Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden reunion in Brooklyn.
That would have shaken the NBA. And it will go down as one of those great “what if’s” in the league’s history.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo