Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten their blockbuster trade to pair Anthony Davis with LeBron James out of the way, they can move forward and figure out what other star they’re going to try to bring to L.A. to join them, and there are increasing signs that Kyrie Irving might be a possibility.
Irving and the Lakers have been linked a few times, with reports that Irving has spoken to people about playing for L.A., and other rumors that James is already recruiting him.
While the Brooklyn Nets still appear to be the favorites for Irving, it may not be safe to rule out the Lakers just yet, especially after Saturday’s trade for Davis, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic (emphasis mine):
If Davis waives his $4.7 million trade kicker, the Lakers will be able to add another star in free agency on a max contract. Whether it’s Kemba Walker, whom the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported as a potential Lakers target, or Kyrie Irving, whom sources have maintained for months wants to play with Davis, someone dynamic will likely be on the ball next season in L.A. (Cap guru Albert Nahmad pointed out Saturday that the Lakers might wait 30 days after the June 20 draft to officially execute the trade so Davis could keep his trade bonus.)
According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Lakers will have either $27.8 million in cap space, or $32.5, depending on when they finalize the deal for Davis, and if Davis keeps or waives his $4 million trade kicker. The later number is only a hair under the max contract that Irving is eligible for, meaning that he might not have to sacrifice much financially to leave the Boston Celtics for L.A., or at least not compared to leaving for any other team, as Boston can still offer him an extra year and more money annually.