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#pounditTuesday, November 28, 2023

Talk of Kyrie Irving going to Lakers heats up with latest rumors

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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