Amid recent rumors and reports of a possible Kyrie Irving and LeBron James reunion on the Los Angeles Lakers, another rumor has recently surfaced that could be big – if true.
James and Irving were dominant on the Cleveland Cavaliers as they went to three consecutive NBA Finals together, winning one in 2016. While the breakup was a bit messy, James and Irving have publicly rebuilt their friendship over the past season while James hunts for a running mate in Los Angeles.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving Rumored to be Working Out This Summer
If this had any more steam I would feel confident calling it a report, however, until a bit more concrete evidence arises, we can safely categorize the LeBron James and Kyrie Irving workout to fall solidly under the “rumor” pile.
All that to say, this shouldn’t be discredited just because it doesn’t have legs yet. Irving was recently spotted out in Los Angeles and has been linked to the Lakers in free agency by a number of different sources. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to think that James and Irving have a closed doors workout on the books in order to get an idea of where the duo is at from a basketball perspective before free agency starts.
Other Lakers Free Agency Rumors
One new interesting rumor is that the Charlotte Hornets may wind up not paying Kemba Walker the monster supermax contract he’s eligible for this offseason. Walker had been playing for years on an incredibly team-friendly contract and made just $12 million for his All-NBA efforts last season. While Kemba has remained steadfast that he wants to stay in Charlotte, he has more than earned his extension with his loyalty to a team that has never tried to put a legitimate contender around him.
If this ends up being the case, it is fairly realistic to see Walker deciding to take his talents elsewhere in order to spite the Hornets. Most other teams might be hesitant to dish out a max deal to Kemba but if the Lakers wind up striking out on other top free agents, they may decide to simply pay up and do whatever they can to make some form of the splash the front office has long promised.
On the other end of the spectrum, Philadelphia is rumored to be planning to offer Jimmy Butler, another Lakers free agency target, the max contract. This isn’t necessarily unexpected as the Sixers were planning to keep at least one of their new toys from last season’s run. This leaves the odd man out as Tobias Harris and while the Sixers CAN go over the cap to re-sign him, they would be paying a hefty luxury tax fine if they decide for some reason to keep both Butler and Harris. Harris is likely to command a near-max deal from some team and while a good fit stylistically for the Lakers, is far too expensive when they already have competent players that fill his role.