One of the more surprising, and perhaps exciting, rumors that has gathered some steam over the last few days is the idea that superstar guard Kyrie Irving could elect to leave the Brooklyn Nets in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The relationship between the Nets and Irving has undoubtedly soured, and the mercurial guard may be looking for a new home.
Irving, of course, has years of experience playing with Lakers superstar LeBron James, and while things did not seem to end well between the two of them when they were on the Cleveland Cavaliers, time does tend to heal old wounds.
According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, there is concern in Brooklyn that Irving could abandon the team to sign with the Lakers. He mentioned the Lakers’ mid-level exception as a possible way to make it work.
"There is a concern in Brooklyn that Kyrie could be inventive enough to leave the money on the table to go play with the Lakers & reunite with LeBron…Going to play with LeBron & the Lakers for the mid-level, you can't rule that out."
— 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐧' 𝐍𝐁𝐀 (@_Talkin_NBA) June 23, 2022
Ever since Irving requested a trade to leave James and the Cavs years ago, he has failed to find a team that he seems truly comfortable with. He first played with the Boston Celtics, and that relationship soured after a couple of seasons.
Irving then joined the Nets. When he and Kevin Durant teamed up on the Nets, many assumed that the two would win a championship together. They haven’t enjoyed success anywhere near a title and were actually swept in their first-round series in the 2022 playoffs.
If Irving were to have actual interest in joining the Lakers, it stands to reason that James would have to sign off on the move.
Though Irving is an undeniable talent, he can also be a major distraction. For that reason, it would be interesting to see how James would react to a possible reunion.