Lakers Rumors: LeBron James, Anthony Davis Each Spoke With Nets' Kyrie Irving

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James and Anthony Davis reportedly spoke with Kyrie Irving about potentially joining the Los Angeles Lakers before he opted in to his contract with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2022-23 NBA season.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported Monday the Lakers' front office has also "seriously weighed" a blockbuster deal for Irving, but his contract decision made it "increasingly unlikely."

James and Irving played three seasons together with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-15 through 2016-17), highlighted by winning the 2016 NBA title, before the point guard departed for the Boston Celtics.

In 2019, the Duke product explained he called LeBron to apologize for not understanding the difficulties of taking on a leadership role for a team in championship contention during their time together.

"Obviously, this was a big deal for me, because I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold," Irving told reporters. "I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people."

A reunion in L.A., which would almost certainly require a third team willing to take on the remainder of Russell Westbrook's contract, is an intriguing option for the Lakers, who desperately need to press the reset button after a miserable 2021-22 campaign.

Irving played well when available this past season, averaging 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 29 appearances. His refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19 caused most of his absences, but he was a full-time player by season's end.

The trio of James, Davis and Irving combined with new head coach Darvin Ham would brighten the Lakers' outlook, but for now it appears the standout guard will remain alongside Kevin Durant in Brooklyn.

"Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I've made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall," Irving told Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic on Monday.

While it wouldn't be surprising if the Lakers circle back to the idea of Irving before next season, Woike noted the situation is now considered "complicated," even by NBA standards.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers were the only team showing interest in a sign-and-trade deal, which takes some time pressure off the idea as L.A. works through the process of filling out the rest of its roster.

For now, it appears Irving will stay in Brooklyn for at least another year, but it's not a lock quite yet.


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