There’s no doubt that the Lakers will pursue other star free agents, and they’ll have a number to choose from in what is expected to be a wild summer. One name that’s come up multiple times in the aftermath of the deal, is none other than Kyrie Irving, who of course partnered with LeBron James to win the 2016 NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to separate reports from both Sam Amick and David Aldridge of The Athletic, the Lakers are in play for Irving, who is interested in playing with Davis.
Could it be Kyrie Irving, whose frustration with the Celtics experience has been well chronicled and who has been tied to the Brooklyn Nets in recent days? It certainly matters that the two former Cavs co-stars reconciled back in January, when our Joe Vardon detailed the apology phone call heard ’round the basketball world. What’s more, it was also clear back then that James was open to the possibility of a reunion. Just days before the Davis deal was done, a source close to James indicated some optimism that – Nets noise be darned – Irving was still in play for the Lakers.
If Davis waives his $4.7 million trade kicker, the Lakers will be able to add another star in free agency on a max contract. Whether it’s Kemba Walker, whom the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported as a potential Lakers target, or Kyrie Irving, whom sources have maintained for months wants to play with Davis, someone dynamic will likely be on the ball next season in L.A.
First of all, it’s important to note that the Lakers’ cap situation won’t be clear until the Davis trade is finalized. Should the deal be completed on July 6, when the moratorium ends, the Lakers will only have $23.7 million in cap space. However, if the trade isn’t finalized until July 30, the Lakers will have $32.5 million in space, which would be enough to offer someone a max contract.
It’s assumed that Irving and other star free agents will be in search of a max deal, though it’s possible someone could be convinced to take less money to play alongside LeBron and Davis.
For now, however, what to make of the Irving rumors? He’s reconciled with LeBron, and their previous partnership in Cleveland was quite successful. Plus, he would be a perfect fit alongside Davis, and it’s easy to envision the two running a dynamic pick-and-roll. In essence, a LeBron-Irving-Davis trio would just be a slightly improved version of the LeBron-Irving-Kevin Love trio that had so much success in Cleveland.
It seems obvious that the trio would be great together on the floor, but it obviously comes down to the Lakers’ cap situation, and what Irving wants to do. And as we’ve seen throughout his career, that can be hard to figure out.