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Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving reportedly named the Los Angeles Lakers as one of his preferred destinations this offseason.
according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, it’s not a farfetched idea for Irving to find a way to be traded to Los Angeles in hopes of reuniting with star forward LeBron James.
“The Lakers noise, again, really tough to pull off, but it’s somewhat substantive there,” Amick said. “You’ve got people within the league actually thinking like, ‘Man, I think he might find a way to get back with LeBron,’ and I do get the sense that LeBron would open that door, and we’ll see if they can pull it off.”
Reports have been swirling that Irving’s time in Brooklyn is set to come to an end after three seasons. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Thursday that Irving will look to exercise his $36.5 million player option and then push for a trade. He has until June 29 to decide whether or not he will opt in, and he would likely be sacrificing over $30 million if he declines it to test free agency.
Along with the Lakers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski listed the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers as Irving’s preferred landing spots. None of those teams have the cap space to acquire the star point guard without the Nets absorbing some substantial money in return. Wojnarowski added that Irving “isn’t necessarily a priority” for any of those teams.
Irving and James played together for three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the franchise to its first NBA championship in 2016. Irving had requested to be traded from Cleveland prior to the 2017-18 season, openly expressing his agitation with being in James’ shadow . In May, Irving admitted that he let his pride get the better of him in that moment.
“If I was in the same maturity line and understanding of who I am [now]and I look back, we definitely, definitely would’ve won more championships,” Irving said.
While it’s still a long shot that the Lakers would be able to acquire Irving, NBA insider Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that James and Irving had been in “recent contact” to discuss the possibility of reuniting.