Can the Los Angeles Lakers construct a workable trade for Kyrie Irving?
And what happens with the Lakers and Russell Westbrook if they can’t?
To try to answer two of the NBA’s most pressing questions this offseason — eclipsed only by the anticipation stemming from Kevin Durant’s request to be traded out of Brooklyn — I turned to one of my dearest friends in the business: Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times.
We covered our first Lakers playoff game together in the second round of the 1990-91 postsesason, when the Run TMC Warriors unexpectedly split the first two games of the series at The Great Western Forum … only for the Magic Johnson-led Lakers to win the next three games en route to the final NBA Finals appearance of Magic’s career. On Thursday afternoon, Monsieur Turner and I had 70 minutes of fun talking about all things Lakers, old stories about covering basketball in Los Angeles and, of course, lots of discussion about the futures of Durant, Irving, Westbrook and the Clippers, too.
We also managed to sneak in a few questions from the audience about the Lakers’ current relationship with Klutch Sports, what’s happening on the trade front with Memphis, Sacramento and Toronto, some best guesstimates on a LeBron James extension in August and the latest outlook in restricted free agency for Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton.
Since BT is pretty much the only U.S.-based NBA writer who spends more time annually in Europe than yours truly, I also had to ask him about his August tradition of l-o-n-g trips to Paris and the new career-high he’s about to record.
If you weren’t able to join us — and if you’re a full-fledged subscriber to The Stein Line — fear not. Paid subscribers, as always, get a full replay of Spotify Live sessions sent right to them to catch up at their leisure.