Well, we should have known this was coming, but we have some rumors that Kyrie Irving might want to team up with LeBron James again, which — given that James is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for at least two more seasons — would seem to imply that Irving has at least some level of interest in leaving the Boston Celtics to join L.A. as an NBA free agent as well.
The signs started a few weeks ago when James mentioned Irving as one of the dozens of good players he’d like to play with. Then, Irving publicly announced he had called James to apologize for his behavior as a young player, which was followed even more recently by James posting a video of himself signing “Rewind” while tagging Irving on Instagram:
Why’d Bron tag Kyrie though pic.twitter.com/i7gQg7UPRm— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 25, 2019
Now, according Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, there are signs that Irving might want to re-team with James:
But is Irving re-uniting with James on the Lakers really possible? A lot will depend on how the next week and a half before the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline shake out.
As everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows — and if you did just escape from being trapped under a boulder, congratulations, but you should probably be reading something more important than this as your first article of freedom — Anthony Davis has just demanded that the New Orleans Pelicans trade him, which many are speculating is a precursor to him demanding to end up on the Lakers specifically.
If the Lakers do trade for Davis, they might not be left with quite enough cap space to obtain Irving, depending on which bad contracts the Pelicans force them to take back as part of the exchange. As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report recently noted, however, there is a scenario that would allow the Lakers to get Davis and almost give Irving the max:
If Johnson and Pelinka traded away everyone other than James and Davis, the Lakers would have a projected $30.5 million in cap space to work with in July, just short of the $32.7 million max they’d need for Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard or Klay Thompson.
That would make it difficult to build out the rest of the roster, but a team with Davis, Irving and James wouldn’t need a massively talented supporting cast to be pretty special. James and Irving’s public flirtations also appear to be pretty blatant bread crumbs, like if Hansel and Gretel had dropped entire baguettes to mark their path instead of just tiny morsels, so there does seem to before some fire to this smoke.
We’ll see if the Lakers can line everything up, but right now it would appear they have a real chance at putting a pretty special team together, even if it would mean sacrificing basically everyone on their current roster. For James, Davis and Irving, it would be worth it.