LeBron James wants the Lakers to acquire Irving this summer. However, Los Angeles’ front office isn’t fully sold on pursuing Irving, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
“I would not like the message very much if I were on the Lakers or if I were in the front office,” the general manager said in regard to Irving attending two Lakers games in the playoffs. “There’s not an overwhelming sentiment from them like, ‘We gotta go get Kyrie.’ It’s just LeBron.
“That sets up a big clash, LeBron vs. the org. You know, the last time LeBron won a clash like that, they got Russell Westbrook. Maybe he should think about that.”
James and Irving were teammates for three seasons on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two All-Stars played in three straight NBA Finals and led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title over the Golden State Warriors. James wanted the Lakers to trade for Irving when the Duke product requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets this season.
However, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Irving.
The Mavericks Will Not Help the Lakers Get Kyrie Irving
The Lakers don’t have the cap space needed to sign Irving to a max contract unless they don’t re-sign Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura in restricted free agency. Even if Los Angeles’ top decision-makers change their stance on Irving, it doesn’t look like Dallas is interested in doing a sign-and-trade deal.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks have no interest in a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers that features the team getting D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Irving. In fact, all indications are that Dallas remains intent on re-signing Irving.
“While we await a clear indication about the Lakers’ intentions [regarding free agency], with no verifiable signal to date that pursuing Irving is among their offseason priorities, league sources say that the Mavericks would have no interest in a sign-and-trade with the Lakers that features D’Angelo Russell as the primary Dallas-bound player,” Stein wrote. “All indications are that the Mavericks remain intent on re-signing Irving.”
“It requires tact, but the Mavericks should simply tell Irving upfront what contract they would like for him to re-sign, and while he certainly has the right to leave, they don’t plan to assist any other team in acquiring him,” Cato wrote. “They have the most appealing offer. Whether or not it’s wise to gamble this team’s future on Irving is another question entirely. But in trading for him, it seems clear this team’s path forward is re-signing him.”
If the Lakers Can’t Get Kyrie Irving, What Will They Do at Point Guard?
If the Lakers don’t get Irving, they could go after Fred VanVleet. The Toronto Raptors star can become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his 2023-24 player option.
VanVleet is with Klutch Sports Group, the same agency James and Anthony Davis are with.
Russell played well for the Lakers in the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, the Ohio State product was so bad in the conference finals versus the Denver Nuggets that multiple league sources have told Heavy Sports the Lakers may not re-sign him.