Kyrie Irving and his nearing departure from the Boston Celtics continue to be one of the hottest topics in the league as the 2019 NBA free agency period draws closer. After committing to re-sign with the Celtics last summer, Irving had a change of heart and already wants his all his options open when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this July. Though he’s not closing his door regarding a potential return to Boston, multiple signs are pointing out that Irving will be leaving the Celtics and chase for his second NBA championship somewhere else.
Several NBA teams have already expressed strong interest in acquiring Irving, including the Los Angeles Lakers. Compared to NBA teams like the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers aren’t considered a favorite landing spot for Irving this summer. However, now that they succeeded in pairing LeBron James with Anthony Davis, Basketball Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen said in a recent appearance on ESPN’s The Jump (via YouTube) that signing with the Lakers should be a “no-brainer” for Irving.
“I still think that, you know, Kyrie over the past couple seasons has seen a lot of things in his career and I think the comfort that he has with LeBron — familiarity, opportunity to win a championship with AD as well. It makes it a no-brainer,” Pippen said, as quoted by NESN.” “Now, do you want to go to New York, be frustrated and play with losers pretty much? Because they haven’t proved they can win. Bad teams find a way to lose. At the end of the day, this is a great fit for Kyrie.”
Report: Kyrie Irving could meet with Celtics brass prior to NBA Draft https://t.co/WzO91cmqJ6— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) June 17, 2019
A year ago, no one would have ever thought that Kyrie Irving and LeBron James would consider playing again on the same team, especially with what happened between them in their final season together in Cleveland. However, since they mended fences earlier this season, the rumors about the potential reunion between Irving and James started to circulate around the league. After trading Lonzo Ball to the New Orleans Pelicans, targeting Irving makes more sense for the Lakers.
Adding Irving will give the Lakers an All-Star caliber point guard who knows how to efficiently play alongside LeBron James. The Nets and the Knicks will undeniably be intriguing free agency destinations for Irving, but if he wants to have a realistic chance of winning multiple NBA championship titles, he may be better off forming a “Big Three” with James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.
However, there is one major problem in bringing Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles. If Anthony Davis won’t agree to waive his trade kicker, the Lakers will only have approximately $23.8 million in salary cap space, which would be not enough to offer Irving a max contract in the 2019 NBA free agency period.