A year ago, no one could have expected that Kyrie Irving would ever consider teaming up again with LeBron James, especially after what happened between them in their final season of playing together for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, during the 2018-19 NBA season, Irving started mending fences with James, and there is growing speculation that the two former Cavaliers could reunite in Los Angeles this summer.
The rumors about their reunion recently heated up when LeBron James liked an Instagram post showing Kyrie Irving wearing the purple and gold jersey. When the season officially ended for the Lakers, James revealed his plan to help his team recruit quality players in the 2019 NBA offseason. There is still more than a month before the 2019 NBA free agency begins, but James has reportedly started the recruitment process.
Like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard, it is highly likely that LeBron James has also contacted Kyrie Irving. However, there are some people who don’t think that the James-Irving reunion will happen in the summer of 2019. In a recent appearance on the Hoop Collective podcast, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN said that she feels “very strongly” that Irving won’t sign with the Lakers in July.
“I did a little digging around and my feeling is very strongly that while LeBron and Kyrie have kissed and made up, that Kyrie is not going there,” MacMullan said, as transcribed by MassLive. “He’s just not. I just don’t believe it. And I think people close to him just don’t believe it either.”
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN shared the same sentiment as MacMullan. Smith revealed that he received a text message from folks close to Kyrie Irving, saying that “there’s no way in hell” that the All-Star point guard will be taking his talent to Los Angeles. If there is one NBA team what Irving will consider leaving the Celtics for, Smith believes it will be the New York Knicks.
“From everything that I’ve been hearing over the last few days, Kyrie Irving his heading to New York City,” Smith said. “Kyrie Irving is heading to Madison Square Garden with Kevin Durant.”
The Knicks may have suffered through another disappointing season, but in the 2019 NBA offseason, they have a strong chance of building a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship in the 2019-20 NBA season. After giving Kyrie Irving a max contract, the Knicks will still have enough salary cap space to chase the likes of Kevin Durant in the 2019 NBA offseason. The Knicks also have a plethora of interesting trade assets that they could use to acquire a superstar on the trade market, where one of the top targets is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.