The Los Angeles Lakers have been heavily linked to Kyrie Irving but the team’s recent success has them “disinterested” in pursuing the eight-time All-Star.
Irving will be a free agent this offseason and a potential team-up with LeBron James has been frequently mentioned as a possibility. The duo combined to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a title in 2016 and have mended any parts of their relationship that soured during the end of that stretch.
It may sound ideal to pair James and Anthony Davis with Irving as a “big three” but the Lakers are happy with their current roster construction and are not interested in adding the polarizing point guard to the mix, per Tim Cato of The Athletic.
“No matter how close Irving might be to James, the Lakers are disinterested in pursuing him in free agency, say league sources, who like all unnamed sources in this article were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly,” Cato reported. “To acquire him would require jettisoning several deadline acquisitions who have helped revitalize their season and land them in a second-round series against the Golden State Warriors.”
Mavericks Hopeful They Can Retain Kyrie Irving
Irving is coming off a rough stretch. He combined forces with Kevin Durant with the Brooklyn Nets but the team never came close to following through on expectations. An ugly ending with the Nets landed him with the Dallas Mavericks via trade in February but the team didn’t make the postseason, floundering down the stretch.
The Mavericks are interested and optimistic about their chances of keeping Irving in Dallas, per Cato. If they don’t, it would be a massive failure for the franchise.
If Irving is not in the mix, the Lakers will turn their focus to their current group of players, trying to make the money work around the salaries of Davis and James. Some big pieces the Lakers will have to make decisions on are pending unrestricted free agent D’Angelo Russell and breakout star Austin Reaves, who will be a restricted free agent but will have lots of suitors.
Lakers Mesh in a Hurry During Playoff Push
The Lakers started the season 2-10 and it didn’t look like they would be making the postseason. But a roster reconstruction around the trade deadline that included Russell, Rui Hachimura, Mo Bamba, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley turned things around.
It was no small task to gain championship-level chemistry in a short period of time but the Lakers have done just that.
“Together would be the word,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said after beating the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. “I think you can tell just by really what I was talking about. You can hold each other accountable, you can have tough conversations in-game.
“If I come down and I miss DLo on a swing, swing, he can come to me and tell me to swing it and I’m not taking it any type of way because I know the next possession if the roles are reversed, then he’s gonna get off it and make the extra pass and really just play the right way. So that’s really it, everybody is really connected on the court, off the court. It’s just a group of guys that enjoy being around one another.”
The Lakers can put the future on the backburner for now. They open their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.