The Los Angeles Lakers may be preparing for the 2019 NBA Draft, but all of the attention is on free agency in hopes of signing a second All-Star player.
While there will continue to be conflicting reports leading up to June 30, Kyrie Irving reportedly has had discussions about reuniting with LeBron James in Los Angeles. At the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, this did not seem like a potential scenario, but the former teammates have settled their differences.
Although the Lakers have a max-contract slot available, they will have plenty of competition in free agency as some teams are armed with two.
If Irving does not re-sign with the Boston Celtics, he is ‘strongly considering’ the Brooklyn Nets, according to Anthony Puccio of SportsNet New York:
Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston. Irving’s camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.
As D’Angelo Russell made his first All-Star appearance, the Nets reportedly ‘would not shy’ away from a potential backcourt of him and Irving:
SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.
Although there is a sense of where the top free agents will sign, the same cannot be said for Irving. While the 27-year-old was committed to the Celtics, that stance gradually changed as his second season with them progressed.
If Irving does not re-sign with the Celtics, they reportedly should ‘still be worried’ about the Lakers signing him. While Irving did request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the 2017-18 season because of James, it is difficult to deny the one championship in three NBA Finals appearances.
Between Irving and James, there is no guesswork on how they would play together. However, if Irving feels three seasons were enough, there have been multiple reports of him teaming up with Kevin Durant, who is not expected to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors regardless of the result.
If Irving and Durant ultimately team up in the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference would be considered wide open for the first time in five seasons.