Beyond the dysfunction hanging over the Lakers lately looms the question: Which marquee free agent(s) will the team sign this offseason?
Every day seems to bring another rumor. First came the recent report that the Lakers aren’t front-runners for any elite players. On Thursday, ESPN reported LeBron James had talked with Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard and 76ers guard Jimmy Butler.
Now comes this development: An Instagram account, “cuffsthelegend,” posted a photo of Kyrie Irving in a Lakers uniform. And James tagged the photo with a like.
What does this mean? Possibly nothing. James might have been bored. He might have appreciated the Instagram user’s deft photo-editing skills that put Irving in the Lakers uni. James might simply be toying with the media, fans, and even the Lakers, not necessarily in that order.
Or, James might be using a subtle way to signal his desire to join forces again with Irving, his teammate for three seasons in Cleveland where they won an NBA championship together. Such a reunion would have once seemed unlikely, but ESPN recently reported Irving is “more open” to reuniting with James on the Lakers. Irving also reportedly apologized to James in January for any previous misunderstandings.
Irving, 27, averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists for Boston this season. Given James’ great influence on personnel decisions, if he wants Irving in a Lakers uniform, it will happen — no photo-editing software necessary.