Kyrie Irving’s decision this summer in regards to his free agency will cause shockwaves around the league. He will have to opt out of his current contract with the Boston Celtics to become an unrestricted free agent, the only move that anyone is truly sure will happen at this point.
Over the weekend, the rumor mill suggested the Brooklyn Nets would be willing to pair Irving with D'Angelo Russell, should he choose to sign in Brooklyn. While that pairing isn’t tenable in the long term, it remains a realistic possibility that Irving ends up in Brooklyn, due to his New York roots. According to Ric Bucher, the Nets have a pretty good chance of landing the star guard. He reports Irving is down to deciding between Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers, who are going big-fish hunting this offseason, armed with max salary slots and the need to put stars around LeBron James.
The Lakers would be a pretty shocking move. It was only two offseasons ago Irving forced his way out of Cleveland early instead of playing another year of basketball with LeBron. Admittedly, much has transpired in the years since Irving left, but it would still be a surprise for Irving to end up in LA.
There isn’t anything quite like NBA free agency in the American sports landscape today. Many rumors swirl left and right about every which player, indicating he’ll go here or stay here. It’s hard to track down what’s true and what’s not. We won’t truly know until the first day of July which rumors proved to be substantial and which were merely smokescreens. For my money, I have a hard time believing Irving would go to Los Angeles, in light of the turmoil in the front office and the criticism he would face from pundits around the country. But we can only wait and see.