While many supporters would love to see Irving play for the Purple and Gold, it seems that Lakers star LeBron James is the one who wants his former teammate to arrive in L.A. “more than anyone.”
“Brooklyn insists that talks are only preliminary at this point, but Chris Haynes’ report Saturday that the Nets and Lakers have discussed a Kyrie Irving trade only fueled what is already a widespread expectation that Irving is destined to end up with the Lakers,” wrote NBA insider Marc Stein on his Substack.
“I certainly believe that, too. I know Irving has been in Los Angeles this week, but that’s not the source of my confidence. It stems from repeated rumbles in circulation that LeBron James is rooting hard for Irving’s addition to the roster.
“James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone. What other team, furthermore, has a LeBron-sized personality with the experience to cope with all the chaos that comes with adding Kyrie? James, remember, has often thrived in chaos.”
A reunion between James and Irving could make the Lakers title favorites once again. However, it definitely comes with a lot of risk.
For one, Irving was in the headlines for much of the past season for the wrong reasons. His decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine led to him missing a huge chunk of the Nets’ games in the regular season.
Until late March, New York City had a vaccine mandate. As such, Irving was only allowed to participate initially in road games. But the Nets organization did not want to accommodate the former All-Star as a part-time player, resulting in him missing the first 35 contests of the season.
Ultimately, Irving played in just 29 regular season games in the 2021-22 campaign. However, he did average 27.4 points and 5.8 assists per contest.
In addition, trading for Irving might require the Lakers to give up what’s left of their draft assets.
On the flip side, having both Irving and James on the roster could allow the team to contend for a championship in the next few years.