Since acquiring LeBron James in free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers made it clear to the entire league that they are not done yet in upgrading their roster. Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are aware that they need to surround James with at least one superstar in order to have a real chance of contending for the NBA championship title.
As of now, the Lakers remain active on the trade market, hoping that the New Orleans Pelicans will trade Anthony Davis to Los Angeles before the February NBA trade deadline. The Lakers have already offered their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and Lonzo Ball, but the Pelicans are still asking for more trade assets in return for their lone superstar.
During an appearance on The Stephen A. Smith Show, Marc Stein of the New York Times revealed that the Lakers’ pursuit for another superstar won’t end with the acquisition of Anthony Davis. Stein reported that the “grand Laker plan” is to acquire Davis via trade and sign Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“There are some people around the league who watched the events of last week when Kyrie said what he said and have watched all month as Kyrie and LeBron have seemingly lobbed Valentine’s back and forth to each other about how much they miss each other,” Stein said, as transcribed by Lakers Nation.
“Now, there is a sense that what if the Lakers could Anthony Davis and Kyrie? And they’re the ones who steal Kyrie Irving away from the Celtics, and not the Knicks. … They’ve got to trade for Davis and sign Kyrie. There are people who believe that is the grand Laker plan.”
The reunion between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles is something most people don’t expect to happen before the 2018-19 NBA season when the All-Star point guard publicly stated his desire to sign a long-term deal with the Boston Celtics next summer. However, the rumors started to gain traction when Irving called James to seek advice on leadership and apologize for his behavior when they were still playing together in Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving recently admitted that he only committed to re-signing with the Celtics because of excitement and said that he will keep all his options open when free agency hits next July. If they succeed to acquire Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers will still have enough salary cap flexibility to give Kyrie Irving a max contract in the summer of 2019.
The “Big Three” of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving will undeniably solidify the Lakers’ chance of beating the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series and enable them to hang multiple championship banners at Staples Center.