The Los Angeles Lakers have expanded the Anthony Davis trade enough to clear approximately $32 million in cap space. The team is expected to pursue several max-level free agents before pivoting to splitting that money between role players if they do not sign any of them.
Kawhi Leonard is at the top of the list for most teams with cap space and that’s true for the Lakers, as well. The team has reportedly scheduled a meeting with the current champion and Finals MVP at the start of free agency.
However, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, they are also pulling out all the stops for Kyrie Irving who is widely expected to leave the Boston Celtics.
All the reporting done on Irving has suggested that he is nearly a lock to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. However, there has been some smoke regarding his lack of a decision. Kyrie has previously been mentioned as having an interest in reuniting with LeBron James.
Irving and James went to three Finals together in Cleveland, winning the team’s first ever championship in 2016. Their relationship eventually soured and Irving requested a trade in order to be the top player on his own team.
After struggling with being the leader and best player in Boston, Irving apologized to James and the two seem to have rekindled their relationship. Whether that is enough for him to seriously consider the Lakers is another question entirely, however.
The Lakers seem to think they have a solid shot at signing the star point guard despite all the indications that he is going to Brooklyn. Irving would give them a crucial third star to complete a big three but he would, perhaps more importantly, also be someone they can build around with Davis after James retires or leaves the team.