The Lakers cannot afford to let leverage swing away from them in the Kyrie Irving trade negotiations

Leverage in trade negotiations is fickle. One moment you think you have the upper hand and the next you wonder how the heck you’re arrived at a place where you now no longer have a shot at the package you once thought you could get in a coup. Life comes to you quickly, and in the NBA, hesitation can often be costly.

The Lakers probably went into this offseason and might have been hoping for a star-studded talent in return for Russell Westbrook, but were probably ready to break his contract up in a couple of minor ones, though that meant no one came back with anything close to His CV.

But suddenly, thanks to a nightmarish month or so in Brooklyn, Rob Pelinka had a chance to land Kyrie Irving below market value. Today in the “Lakers Lounge” Harrison Faigen and I said that they have waited long enough and the risk of missing Irving and (swig) to start the season with Westbrook is too high if the only advantage is a first-rounder almost a decade from now.

Let’s put it this way: If I told you right after Westbrook’s infamous exit interview, in which he pretty much blamed everyone but himself for last season, that it would cost just two first round picks and some other disappointing money from last year to turn him and his swollen contract to Kyrie Irving and potentially more help, you would jump at the opportunity.

Sure, the risk is that you swap for Irving, draw him to an extension, and he dedicates his life to space travel to prove the geometric dimensions of planet Earth, but as long as his feet are on the ground and his head is in play is he a perfect offensive fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

So what is the wait? According to Jovan Buha of Athletics this could have already been done. What are they waiting for?

Clearly, Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets do not want to appear weak as stars all go after insane election packages, so throw in the second choice and a few extra contracts and bring in the desperately needed shooting that this list lacks as of now.

Of course, patience could pay off, and they could still have the opportunity to work out a child who is just now getting ready for puberty as well as Irving’s services. But the trade winds could just as easily change, and the Lakers could be left with a few stars who literally would not look at each other while in the same arena a week ago.

No, the risk is nowhere near the reward here. Get it done, Rob.

Harrison and I discussed all that, the DeAndre Ayton situation (Disclaimer: Phoenix did not match his offer while we were recording)Jeanie Buss’ latest attempt to avoid responsibility for the clown show in a front office she has overseen, and more.

You can listen to the entire episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, you can subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed at iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a brief summary pod, check it out Lakers Lowdown, where Anthony Irwin summarizes the news of the previous day and gets ready for the coming day in LakerLand, every weekday morning d. Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.

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