Star NBA guard Kyrie Irving famously requested a trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers back in the summer of 2017, at a time when LeBron James was still the team’s star, prior to his departure to Los Angeles last summer. That request resulted in Irving’s trade in August of that year to the Boston Celtics, where he continues to play now.
But with the NBA world’s eyes on the Anthony Davis trade situation, Irving is reportedly thinking about his next destination as well, and it may be the same place as Davis.
According to reporter Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Irving is “genuinely interested” in a reunion with James. The information is cited to “a source close to the Celtics.”
This would presumably entail Irving signing as a free agent with the Lakers after this season, possibly with the Lakers also trading several of their young players for Davis in order to form a new “big three” of James, Irving, and Davis.
James and Irving previously won a championship, and made two other Finals appearances, as teammates with the Cavaliers, when the the third man in their “big three” was another big man, Kevin Love. Love remains with Cleveland.
Several reports last season, including one by Hoops Hype, stated that Irving and another pending free agent, Jimmy Butler of the Sixers, were talking about playing together on the same team as a backcourt tandem. However, according to Bucher’s report, Butler is not interested in playing for the Lakers. Butler was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers last November.
Irving and Butler are both part of a very crowded free agent class this coming offseason in the NBA, which also includes Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. Also looming is Anthony Davis, who is not a free agent until the following year but is eligible to sign a “supermax” extension this summer with whichever team he’s on. Davis announced earlier this week that he will not be re-signing with his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, and that he was requesting a trade.
The four teams based in New York and Los Angeles — the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers — are all expected to have significant salary cap space this offseason, making it possible that a major realignment of the NBA’s talent is in the offing. Bucher’s story also suggested that Durant, and possibly Davis, could end up with the Knicks.