The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Phoenix Suns at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday, and a large contingent from a number of teams attended.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was present, as were LeBron James, his business partner Rich Paul, new head coach Darvin Ham, and Russell Westbrook, among others.
According to reports, a number of other team executives also traveled to Sin City.
During L.A.’s game on Friday, which was broadcast on ESPN 2, television cameras captured Pelinka, James, and Ham conversing on the baseline. There was also footage of Pelinka talking on his cell phone, as well as footage of ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski speaking with Pelinka and a few others.
At halftime, Wojnarowski provided an update on the Lakers’ efforts to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets, stating that the Nets are focused on first trading Durant, then moving on to a potential Irving trade.
In some ways, trading Durant makes sense because it could drastically alter Brooklyn’s roster and dictate the fate of Irving.
Some of the moving parts in a possible deal for Irving could be altered if the Nets still have a competitive roster after trading Durant.
A straight-up swap of Westbrook for Irving appears unlikely, as Westbrook is a difficult fit on almost any team, especially if you consider teams seeking a playoff run.
The other issue is thatof salary considering Westbrook is owed approximately $47 million next season, whereas Irving is making approximately $36.5 million.
As per NBA rules, the Nets must send at least one additional player to the Lakers in order for the incoming and outgoing salaries to sync up properly.