Kyrie Irving Breaks Silence on Signing With Lakers

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks.

Kyrie Irving took to social media to issue a message on his upcoming free agency amid rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers could take a run at signing him this offseason.

Irving will be an unrestricted free agent but said he was in no rush to make a decision on his next team. The Lakers and Irving’s current squad, the Dallas Mavericks, have been at the forefront of the rumors, but the eight-time All-Star is adamant he hasn’t made any kind of choice yet.

“I’m a free agent this summer, but I am in no rush to make a decision,” Irving said. “The speculation around my name from all these individuals that get on TV and have these personalities. … When they speak on my name and they’re talking about potential teams that I’m going to … Respectfully, I’m asking you to please stop paying attention to that. I am in no rush to make a decision.”

Kyrie Irving Attended Lakers Playoff Games

Irving was courtside on May 22 for Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and watched the Lakers’ season end in a sweep. His presence sparked further speculation that he could be interested in landing with LA.

However, the Mavericks appear to have the upper hand in retaining the polarizing point guard. Dallas gave up some key assets to land him at the trade deadline and it would feel like a major loss for Mark Cuban and Co. if Irving chose another team.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported over the weekend that Irving had a handshake deal with the Mavs to sign an extension with the franchise.

“I hear they had a handshake deal before the trade [with the Nets],” a source told Pincus in a story published May 21. “And Kyrie wouldn’t have said yes to anything less than the max.”

LeBron James Retirement Rumors Spark Further Kyrie Irving Talk

What added some fuel to the fire with the Irving rumors was the May 22 report from Chris Haynes that Lakers superstar LeBron James is contemplating retirement. James also supplied some cryptic comments after the Lakers’ season ended in a sweep.

“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens going forward. I don’t know. I don’t know,” James said. “I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest. Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.”

The 38-year-old James could step away from the game, although it seems a little premature, considering he’s still producing at an elite level.

“I’m still better than 90% of the NBA,” James told ESPN. “Maybe 95.”

Some insiders believe that James’ tossing out retirement as an option is a leverage play and a message to the front office to make the moves he desires — which could include acquiring Irving. The Lakers were in the mix for Irving at the deadline and James was not pleased when he went to the Mavericks instead.

“I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed on not being able to land such a talent, but [also] someone that I had great chemistry with, and know I got great chemistry with on the floor, that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes,” James told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon in February.

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