Report: Lakers, Knicks Still in Contention to Sign Kyrie Irving amid Nets Rumors

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 15, 2019

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers Friday, March 29, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Nothing is out of the question until the ink dries. 

The widespread belief is Kyrie Irving will sign with the Brooklyn Nets once his unrestricted free agency begins. However, SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday night that "no team interested in Irving, including the Knicks and Lakers, had been led to believe that they are out of the running to sign him," according to sources.

On Thursday, the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett relayed Irving's intention to become a Net, reporting that the Boston Celtics point guard is "prepared" to sign with Brooklyn after free agency begins July 6. 

While at least three teams seem to have a shot at acquiring Irving, the Celtics don't believe they have one. The Boston Herald's Adam Himmelsbach reported the Celtics' optimism that the team will be able to retain the 27-year-old "has eroded."

Irving's looming free-agency decision has influenced how aggressively Boston plans to pursue a trade for New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, Himmelsbach added. Davis and Irving have also been linked regarding the Lakers, who are the odds-on favorite to land Davis. 

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The Lakers pursuing Irving seems odd when considering the reported reason he went to Boston in the first place was to get out from underneath LeBron James' shadow in Cleveland. 

The Knicks, meanwhile, had been the team most heavily linked to Irving originally. The rumors revolved around Irving teaming up in New York with Kevin Durant, who ruptured his Achilles earlier this week and may miss all of 2019-2020. 

However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday, "The Knicks and Nets are both still interested in signing Durant and Irving together, league sources said."

Regardless of Durant's end destination, Irving's alleged intense interest in becoming a Net is presumably fueled by his growing up in New Jersey as a Nets fan. 

It's hard to compete with a first love.