Talk of Kyrie Irving going to Lakers heats up with latest rumors
Kyrie Irving is facing an uncertain future with the Brooklyn Nets, and the Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as one of the teams that could land him if he leaves. Some are skeptical that he would want to play with LeBron James again, but it sounds like the star point guard is very open to it.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” Thursday that Irving has already been calling LeBron to discuss the possibility of reuniting.
“He’s calling LeBron already. He’s calling LeBron,” Smith said, via Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. “Remember that dude that he left, that he didn’t want to be a sidekick or little brother to? Remember that? … I happen to know he’s calling LeBron these days. Isn’t it beautiful how the world turns? There was once a soap opera called ‘As the World Turns.’ It’s ‘As Kyrie Turns.’ That’s the soap opera. We’re gonna hold onto that one all summer long. This is where he’s at.”
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he will exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. The Lakers don’t have the salary cap space to sign him, but a sign-and-trade is a possibility. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Thursday that he would not rule out Irving taking the midlevel exception, which is around $6 million, to join forces with LeBron in L.A.
"There is a concern in Brooklyn that Kyrie could be inventive enough to leave the money on the table to go play with the Lakers & reunite with LeBron…Going to play with LeBron & the Lakers for the mid-level, you can't rule that out."
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) June 23, 2022
Irving and James won an NBA title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving then decided he did not like being the second option behind LeBron. Though, Irving later came to appreciate how difficult it is to lead a team and apologized to LeBron.
The idea of James and Irving teaming up again seems farfetched, but the Lakers are on Irving’s reported list of teams he would want to play for if he leaves Brooklyn.