Heading into June 30, one of the biggest names available in free agency this summer is Kyrie Irving.
Another outstanding statistical 2018-19 NBA season led to Irving being named to his sixth All-Star Game as well as an All-NBA Second Team selection, but his Boston Celtics had a disappointing season overall, getting dominated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2019 NBA playoffs.
Irving’s leadership has come into question this season as he publicly had issues with some of his younger teammates. Additionally, his revelation about re-connecting and apologizing to LeBron James led many to wonder if a reunion was in order with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now with free agency just weeks away, Irving has decided to make a big move. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving is parting with his agent and is expected to join Roc Nation Sports:
Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving is changing representation and is expected to partner with Roc Nation Sports, league sources told ESPN. Irving parted ways with longtime agent Jeff Wechsler on Wednesday, clearing the way for him to ultimately work with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation prior to the start of NBA free agency on June 30, sources said.
Choosing to change representation this close to free agency is curious by itself, but joining Roc Nation Sports brings even more questions and rumors. Roc Nation Sports was founded by legendary rapper Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter who previously owned a small share in the Brooklyn Nets.
Though Carter has since sold those shares, he remains a big fan and Irving joining the agency will only fuel more rumors about his interest in Brooklyn. That interest appears to be extremely strong as Wojnarowski reports that Irving is ‘intensely interested’ in the Nets:
Irving, a six-time All-Star, will become an unrestricted free agent, and league sources say he remains intensely interested in the Brooklyn Nets. The New York Knicks are expected to remain competitive for Irving, too, sources told ESPN.
It sounds as if Irving is intent on being in New York next season be it with the Nets or Knicks which would take another target out of play for the Lakers. Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant are all longshots at best and Irving looks to be in that group as well.
That knowledge could perhaps explain the team’s interest in Kemba Walker, who is a similar player.
The Lakers remain engaged in Anthony Davis trade talks which will likely cost them Lonzo Ball, giving the team a huge hole at point guard. If Irving is off the table, it only makes sense that the Lakers would make a strong play towards Walker who would give the team the three-man core to build around that the franchise desires.