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Stephen A. Smith: Kyrie Irving 'Telling Everybody' He'll Join LeBron James, Lakers

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving reportedly plans to join the Los Angeles Lakers when he has the opportunity, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith:

"Kyrie Irving is telling everybody he plans on going to L.A., meaning the Lakers, as soon as he possibly can," Smith said on NBA Today.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin provided insight on the Lakers' mindset as Irving continues to push for a move to L.A.:

Irving opted into his contract for the 2022-23 season, which means he can no longer control his landing spot for next season. As Smith noted, the point guard can sign with the Lakers as a free agent next summer when the team is significantly under the salary cap.

A move to the Lakers would allow Irving to team back up with LeBron James after the two spent three years together with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The duo reached the NBA Finals in three straight years and won the 2016 title.

Irving could be on the move this offseason, especially after Kevin Durant requested a trade. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported it's "very likely" that both Durant and Irving have played their last games on the Nets:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

The latest on Kevin Durant requesting a trade from the Nets from <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wojespn</a>.<br><br>Join us now on ESPN2 for our NBA Today Free Agency special as we break it all down. <a href="https://t.co/dsRBjecW8S">pic.twitter.com/dsRBjecW8S</a>

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported there was a lot of "chatter" connecting Irving to the Lakers.

Los Angeles was also the only team pursuing Irving in a sign-and-trade before he opted into his deal, per Wojnarowski. The mutual interest could be enough for the Lakers and Nets to work out a trade.

Even without a trade, it seems Irving is planning to eventually end up in Los Angeles.

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