Kyrie Irving, LeBron James Have Begun Discussions About Lakers Reunion: Report

Getty Images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has a long-standing history with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. Irving and LeBron were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers when Kyrie was the hero of the 2016 NBA Finals after hitting a game winning 3-pointer in Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors. NBA insider Marc Stein reveals that Kyrie and LeBron have already had preliminary discussions about a reunion on the Lakers.

“There are credible rumblings in circulation that Irving, for starters, has indeed had some recent contact with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, his former Cleveland teammate, to presumably discuss a potential reunion in Hollywood,” Stein writes per his Substack account.

“I’m told it would be a stretch, though, to suggest that the Lakers are currently pursuing Irving.”

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NBA Source Calls Nets a ‘S***show”

When Kevin Durant joined the Nets in 2019 after three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors, most people thought it was the wrong decision. But Durant had a chance to write his legacy in Brooklyn with Kyrie, and when they made the trade for All-Star guard James Harden in January 2021, they immediately became the title favorites.

But the last two seasons have been filled with turmoil for KD and the Nets. Injuries to Harden and Irving in the 2021 playoffs led to an early elimination by the Milwaukee Bucks. Then in 2021, Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated led to Harden demanding a trade mid-season. After getting swept by the Celtics in the playoffs this year, the entire construct of the Nets is under a microscope. One source told Heavy NBA Insider Steve Bulpett that the Nets’ current situation is a ‘s***show’.

“It’s such a shi**show there. I feel for KD. He’s such a great player. But I’ve never seen anybody in the NBA get beat up the way KD got beat up by Boston and have no reaction to it whatsoever. Like, he can’t swing an elbow at somebody? Just out of frustration alone?” the NBA source told Bulpett.

“It’s easy to put it on (coach Steve) Nash and put it on Nash’s inexperience that he’s not putting them in the right spot. But KD’s played in enough big games, and he’s got enough autonomy to do what he wants — what he needs. It just looked like he was pretty frustrated out there.”

Kyrie’s Path to Lakers Won’t Be Easy

On June 20, NBA Insider Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reported that Irving and the Nets hit an ‘impasse’ on talks of a new deal. If Irving opts to become a free agent this summer, the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks are expected to be his top suitors. But the insider says that of the three teams, the Lakers have the most ‘difficult’ path to landing Irving.

“For the Lakers, the likely path to acquire Irving — and reunite him with LeBron James — would be Irving opting in to facilitate a trade, because the Lakers cannot realistically clear cap space to sign him themselves, and a sign-and-trade would trigger the hard cap, thus making acquiring Irving significantly more difficult,” Charania writes.

“If Irving would opt-in, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka would have to satisfy the collective bargaining agreement’s salary-matching rules, meaning if Irving’s $36.6 million was the only incoming salary, the Lakers could send anywhere from $29.3 million to $45.8 million to the Nets and/or a third team in a legal transaction.”

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green went on a revenge tour en route to a title with the Warriors this season after a two-year layoff. Are LeBron and Kyrie the duo that will stop the repeat?

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