LeBron James’ Lakers Were Willing to Take This Huge Step to Acquire Kyrie Irving or Donovan Mitchell: REPORT

Published 09/27/2022, 8:30 PM EDT

As soon as the final buzzer of the season sounded, the Los Angeles Lakers had redemption on their mind. They were coming off arguably one of the worst seasons in franchise history. A team full of future Hall of Famers was stopped within the regular season. Likewise, fans expected the shape of the franchise to change completely. Surprisingly, the conservative approach of the purple and gold team held them back from doing so.

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After last season, the Lakers were on the market looking for the right trade for Russell Westbrook. The former MVP’s value was arguably no more the same. Teams were demanding security to accept Brodie. The 17-time champions were left with the sole option of putting their draft picks on the line. However, offers from the Indiana Pacers and others were not convincing enough for Rob Pelinka to go all out.

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But that doesn’t mean there were no exceptions. According to former Lakers reporter Dave McMenamin, the 2020 champions were willing to give up their future first-round picks to team up LeBron James with either Kyrie Irving or Donovan Mitchell.

The Lakers would have done anything for Kyrie Irving

As trade talks for Westbrook heated up, one name came to the front, Kyrie Irving. The Lakers looked to be the next destination for KAI. However, the deal never got through. On the other hand, Donovan Mitchell was one of the hottest stars on the market. His fallout with the Utah Jazz had opened up all the doors. Likewise, the Los Angeles Lakers wanted the three-time All-Star.

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As it turns out, these were the only two stars who they were willing to give up their precious unprotected picks for. But destiny and luck never sided with the Lakers. Russell Westbrook remains the point guard of the franchise, while Irving and Mitchell have set foot on their own paths now.

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Nov 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts with guard Russell Westbrook (0) after his basket scored against the Houston Rockets during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Away from the City of Angels, Irving opted into his final season with the Brooklyn Nets. Despite the initial drama of the offseason, Irving and Kevin Durant are both determined to play together. While it might just be the final time, the seven-time All-Star has his legacy to defend. On the other hand, Mitchell’s move to the Cleveland Cavaliers has shifted the power scales completely. The Cavs now have arguably one of the finest young cores in the NBA today. The franchise hasn’t looked better since perhaps the days of LeBron James.

As for the Lakers, their biggest signings have been Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder. While there are only slight changes in the look, the mindset is likely different. Last season they disappointed as the favorites. However, this time the motivation is to prove everyone wrong. The Lakers and LeBron James are most likely eyeing vengeance next season. Moreover, Russell Westbrook’s return marks a crucial step toward defending his legacy.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Kevin Durant to Celtics, Kyrie Irving to Lakers, and Other Potential League Altering Trades Ahead of NBA 2022-23

With the hunger still alive, do you think the Los Angeles Lakers can rise to the top with the current names? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

1577 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

Edited By: Veer Badani

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