Stephen A.: Kyrie Irving Has Been 'Talking' to Kobe Bryant Amid Lakers Rumors

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving chat during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Anyone trying to predict where Kyrie Irving will play next season is going to talk themselves in circles, especially if it involves the Los Angeles Lakers

On his ESPN Radio show, Stephen A. Smith said Irving has been talking to Kobe Bryant but also noted he's been told by people close to the All-Star point guard there is "no way in hell" he's going to reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles. 

In the same sentence, though, Smith added he's also being told "don't rule that out" about the possibility of Irving signing with the Lakers this summer. 

The mention of Bryant and Irving talking adds a wrinkle to a report from Smith last week on First Take that Irving "is heading to New York City" to play for the Knicks

Speculation about Irving and James getting back together has increased since the Boston Celtics' season came to an end with a five-game loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst discussed the subject on a recent episode of the Hoop Collective Podcast (h/t Cindy Boren of the Washington Post):

"I think the possibility of Kyrie and LeBron reuniting—that door, which was deadbolted, has been un-deadbolted and has now been cracked open. It might even be opening more by the day. And I say that just because I think it's on Kyrie's radar, it's on Kyrie’s board. He has had discussions with people about playing for the Lakers."

Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the 2017-18 season, in part because he didn't want to be the No. 2 option on a team featuring James. 

James told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck last month he "will be as active as I need to be for this franchise to get better" during the offseason. Per Spotrac, the Lakers will have nearly $42 million in practical cap space available to sign another player to a max contract.

Irving has a player option for next season with the Celtics, though all signs suggest he will become a free agent to secure a new long-term deal. 

Related

    Three Training Camp Battles to Watch for

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Three Training Camp Battles to Watch for

    Lake Show Life
    via Lake Show Life

    Cook Looking to Bring His Shooting to Favorite Childhood Team

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Cook Looking to Bring His Shooting to Favorite Childhood Team

    Los Angeles Lakers
    via Los Angeles Lakers

    Caruso Likes the Chemistry Between Himself and LeBron

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Caruso Likes the Chemistry Between Himself and LeBron

    Lake Show Life
    via Lake Show Life

    Who You Got: Melo or JR?

    Examining which gunner is the better FA pickup

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Who You Got: Melo or JR?

    Examining which gunner is the better FA pickup

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report