Despite being the seventh seed, heading into the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers felt they had a team ready to compete. Reaching the Western Conference Finals shows they are playoff-worthy, but now on the brink of elimination, we can see the roster still has plenty of holes. Could Kyrie Irving be one of the solutions to the Lakers’ current problems?
The team’s point guard play is clearly lackluster, as upcoming free agent D’Angelo Russell has gone ice cold, shooting 29% while averaging just 7 points per game in three starts against the Denver Nuggets this postseason.
Meanwhile, Irving is battle-tested, having already proven he won’t freeze up in the biggest moments, helping LeBron James win a title back in Cleveland in 2016. With how strongly James felt about missing out on the chance to trade for Irving ahead of the NBA’s deadline last season, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Lakers star wouldn’t pound the table for his former teammate later this offseason with Irving set for free agency.
NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently discussed Irving’s pending free agency during an appearance on The Hoop Collective podcast, and he didn’t discount the Lakers’ chances of adding the eight-time All-Star.
“It would take a little bit of maneuvering, and Kyrie (Irving) would probably have to not take the max, or (the Lakers) would have to work on something with Dallas, but they can get there. They can keep (Austin) Reaves and get Kyrie.”Brian Windhorst on Kyrie Irving’s potential fit with Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are set to enter the offseason with just seven members on their 2023-24 cap sheet, but they hold the bird rights on a few other key players such as Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Austin Reaves.
If they’re serious about recruiting Irving to L.A., it will take plenty of salary cap gymnastics, but we’ve seen plenty of teams find ways to pair two or three stars together in the past. Could a Big 3, led by James, Irving, and Anthony Davis be next?