Report: LeBron James has been ‘putting some pressure’ behind the scenes to bring Kyrie Irving to the Lakers

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has been “putting some pressure” on the Lakers behind the scenes to acquire Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving in a trade, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

James and Irving have some history together from their time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The duo won a title together against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Irving’s relationship with the Nets has soured, and he and Kevin Durant could be traded this offseason. Irving picked up his player option earlier this offseason and will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season.

James, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Lakers, must think Irving is the missing piece for the Lakers to get back to the playoffs and NBA Finals.

To make a trade with the Nets for Irving, the Lakers would likely need to include Russell Westbrook. Westbrook struggled to fit in with the Lakers in the 2021-22 season.

Despite playing in just 29 games last season due to his vaccination status, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers are in a tough spot if James is indeed pushing for Irving, as the team can’t afford to hurt its relationship with the 18-time All-Star. However, some in the Lakers front office might want to target other players.

After missing the playoffs last season, the Lakers would be wise to find any avenue to improve the roster around James while he is still playing at an elite level.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.