NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving ‘More Open’ To Joining L.A. Lakers In Free Agency, Per ‘ESPN’s’ Windhorst

Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts with Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter of a game at TD Garden on February 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

A year ago, most people thought that Kyrie Irving was set to finish his NBA career with the Boston Celtics, especially after he expressed his desire to sign a long-term contract with them when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately, as the 2018-19 NBA season went deeper, Irving had a change of heart and wanted to keep all his options open in the 2019 NBA free agency.

After a season filled with drama and frustrations, multiple signs are pointing out that Kyrie Irving will be leaving the Celtics to chase for his second NBA championship title with another team. Aside from his departure from Boston, rumors and speculation are also heating up that Irving could reunite with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. Brian Windhorst of ESPN recently discussed the possibility of a reunion between Irving and James next July.

With how things ended between them in Cleveland, Windhorst admitted that he initially thought that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving would never play again in one team. However, after they mended fences and rekindled their relationship, Windhorst revealed that Irving became “more open” to joining James in Los Angeles in the 2019 NBA free agency.

“If you had asked me six months ago, I’d had said the door was closed and locked — that was not gonna happen,” Windhorst said, as quoted by NESN. “But over the last few months, there is no doubt there’s been a thawing between Kyrie and LeBron, and Kyrie has become to be more open to joining the Lakers and has done some research on the organization. That said, with Magic (Johnson) leaving — that was a guy he felt a connection to — and with great opportunities in Brooklyn and in New York, plus Boston trying to keep him, I think the Lakers are lower on his list.”

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Compared to other NBA teams who could offer Kyrie Irving a max contract like the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and the Celtics, Windhorst said that the Lakers are the least favorite to land the All-Star point guard, especially after Magic Johnson resigned as president of basketball operations. However, the fact that they are on his list of preferred landing spots in the 2019 NBA free agency is undeniably good news for the Lakers.

When the 2018-19 NBA season officially ended, LeBron James revealed that he will help the Lakers recruit quality players in the 2019 NBA offseason, making it highly likely that he will be present when they make their free agency pitch to Kyrie Irving. However, the Lakers’ offseason won’t end in signing Irving. After successfully reuniting Irving with James, the Lakers are expected to resume their pursuit of All-Star center Anthony Davis.