It was less than two calendar years ago that Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers — primarily because he wanted to run his own ship in another NBA city.
At that point, reports surfaced that Irving did not have the best relationship with then-Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. His activity on social media and throughout the media world immediately after being traded to the Celtics proved this to a T.
Now, with Irving set to hit free agency, talk is heating up that he could reunite with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Apparently, this talk is not going to die down any time soon. According to this report from Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Irving is “genuinely interested” in signing with the Lakers this coming summer.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 29, 2019
That’s a whole bunch of crazy right there. But there’s logical reasons to believe this would work.
Lonzo Ball isn’t working out in Los Angeles: The Lakers are obviously looking for an upgrade over the enigmatic second-year point guard.
- A recent report suggested that the Lakers are looking to potentially move Ball in the immediate future. Sidelined until at least March, the former No. 2 overall pick simply has not panned out.
- While veteran Rajon Rondo has played well at times this season, he signed a one-year contract back in July of 2018. This frees up the point guard position following the 2018-19 campaign.
- Outside of those two players, the Lakers don’t have anyone of substance to run the offense for King James. They want a true point guard as a way to help James play more off the ball.
Lakers have the funds: While Boston can offer Irving more money than any other team, Los Angeles has set itself up well in free agency.
- Los Angeles only has about $60 million in salary commitments for next season. It’s in this that the team can add two max-contract players to go with LeBron James.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee are all free agents after this season.
The relationship can be repaired: People seem to forget Irving and James earned three consecutive NBA Finals trips with one another.
- It can’t be lost on people that winning cures all ills. Is anyone willing to conclude Draymond Green and Kevin Durant can’t coexist long term if the Warriors win another title? Same difference here.
- No matter their off-court relationship, James and Irving were a dynamic duo for the Cavaliers — leading that organization to the most success it’s ever had.
The Lakers’ interest in Anthony Davis is by now well known. In a vacuum, that would not disable the team’s ability to add Irving to the mix — creating a trio that could challenge Golden State out west. Don’t think that’s lost on Irving.