The Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs and there was a very noticeable figure sitting courtside. Free-agent-to-be Kyrie Irving showed up to the game, gave LeBron James some love, and kickstarted an NBA rumors cycle that is hard to slow down.
After all, Los Angeles tried trading for Irving before landing on the eventual trades that the team did make during the deadline. LeBron has a lot of pull in the organization and his potential desire to reunite with Irving this summer could have led the team down a dark path.
Luckily, it does not look like Rob Pelinka and co. are currently interested at all in the prospect of bringing in Irving. Tim Cato of The Athletic broke down Irving’s future, focusing mainly on the possibility of him returning to Dallas. But in the article, Cato revealed information from sources that will give fans a sigh of relief.
"“And no matter how close Irving might be to James, the Lakers are disinterested in pursuing him in free agency, say league sources, who like all unnamed sources in this article were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. To acquire him would require jettisoning several deadline acquisitions who have helped revitalize their season and land them in a second-round series against the Golden State Warriors.”"
NBA rumors: Lakers are disinterested in bringing in Kyrie Irving.
This should be music to every fan’s ears as it seems like the Lakers front office actually learned its lesson from the Russell Westbrook trade two years ago. Irving still has more to offer than Westbrook did at that point of the trade but the issues would be very similar.
Los Angeles would have to sacrifice depth in order to bring Irving to LA and that would put the roster in a similar place as it was before the NBA trade deadline. Irving is not the most reliable or consistent player to bet on and his recent track record is all the reason to stay away.
Whether it be with Boston, Brooklyn, or Dallas, Irving’s teams have disappointed everywhere he has gone since leaving LeBron in Cleveland. At some point you have to look at the common denominator, which is Irving.
This is all good news for the time being but things can change in an instant in the NBA. If the Lakers go out and get blown out in 4-5 games by the Warriors then the mindset could definitely start to shift.
Suddenly, the pitch from LeBron to bring Kyrie to LA would sound much sweeter if the role players that LA is in love with struggled in round two. Early playoff exits can make a team do crazy things. After all, that is how Westbrook landed in LA in the first place.