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Kyrie Irving Expected to Play in Drew League amid Lakers Rumors, LeBron James' Return

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 16, 2022

Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to play in the pro-am Drew League amid ongoing trade rumors connecting him to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Adding to the intrigue is L.A. star LeBron James' reported participation in the same competition after an 11-year absence.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin provided the details on Saturday via longtime Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley.

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Kyrie Irving is expected to play in the Drew League in Los Angeles today at 11 a.m., Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley told ESPN. LeBron James is expected to play at 1:45, per Smiley. Yahoo earlier reported James’ plans to return to the Drew for the first time since 2011.

The prestigious Drew League, which takes place in Los Angeles and has been in existence since 1973, is already in full swing. The sixth week of games will take place Saturday and Sunday, with six matchups per day.

Rumors have circulated connecting Irving to the Lakers. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Monday (h/t Nets Daily) that the Lakers were the only team showing interest in the seven-time All-Star. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on July 2 that the Nets and Lakers were discussing a trade involving Irving and L.A. point guard Russell Westbrook.

Now Irving is playing offseason ball in L.A., the current home of his ex-Cleveland Cavaliers teammate.

Irving and James played on the Cavs together from 2014 to 2017, winning three Eastern Conference titles and the 2016 NBA championship. Now there's a possibility of reuniting on the Lakers, who are trying to move past a 33-49 season that ended with an 11th-place Western Conference finish.

The intrigue is only building now with both players' Drew League appearances.

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