BOSTON (CBS) — Everyone in Boston is resigned to the fact that Kyrie Irving is walking away as a free agent this summer. That hurts enough by itself, but there’s a chance that Kyrie makes it sting a whole lot more with his choice for his next basketball home.
With the news breaking over the weekend that the Lakers had landed the highly coveted Anthony Davis, we’re now starting to hear that Irving may look to team up with A.D. and LeBron James on the Lakers.
For Danny Ainge, who masterfully spent only a few years rebuilding his roster to where it was over the last two years, seeing Kyrie walk away to join the Lakers would certainly hurt a little bit extra.
David Aldridge of The Athletic noted that the Lakers will need to add another star, and Irving may fit the bill:
Whether it’s Kemba Walker … or Kyrie Irving, whom sources have maintained for months wants to play with Davis, someone dynamic will likely be on the ball next season in L.A. … Either would make sense, but here’s where I point out that Irving is a career 39 percent shooter on threes, while Walker is 35.7. And the Lakers still need shooting to maximize the room that both Davis and James will have on the floor going forward.
Sam Amick, also of The Athletic, reported that “Just days before the Davis deal was done, a source close to James indicated some optimism that — Nets noise be darned — Irving was still in play for the Lakers.”
Now, because of the salary cap, and because of some yet-to-be-known aspects of Davis’ salary, it can’t be known for sure exactly how much money the Lakers may have available to pay Kyrie. That matters, as Irving is likely looking to land a max contract at age 27.
But, provided the Lakers can make the money work, we do know that Kyrie mended fences with LeBron earlier this year, and we’ve heard of his desire to play with Davis for some time. Factor in Irving’s affinity for making movies, plus the appeal of bringing the Lakers back to relevance and perhaps prominence, and it appears as though Kyrie’s hometown Nets will have some competition over the next several weeks.
As for the Celtics, losing Irving to free agency will hurt regardless. But seeing him join the Lakers … and LeBron? The sports rage could reach previously unseen levels among basketball fans — and executives — in Boston.