The Lakers are not going to give up on pursuing Kyrie Irving.
While it has been reported the Nets are going to be Irving’s destination, the Lakers still intend to chase after the guard, as well as Kawhi Leonard, now that they have the cap space to add a third max player, according to the New York Times.
Kyrie Irving remains as much a target for the Lakers as Kawhi Leonard, league sources say, now that the Lakers are sure they can open maximum cap space. They are swinging for the fences despite all of the signals that have pointed Irving to Brooklyn …
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2019
Los Angeles is “swinging for the fences,” according to the report.
The Lakers were able to clear space for a third max slot Thursday when they reportedly agreed to send Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, Isaac Bonga and a second-round pick to the Wizards. Anthony Davis also agreed to waive his $4 million trade kicker.
Irving has also reportedly warmed up to the idea of rejoining LeBron James with the Lakers after he asked the Cavaliers to trade him away from the four-time MVP in 2017.
Irving and James won an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016 and complement each other well on the court as the guard spaces the floor nicely for the forward and gives him another scorer who can create on his own.
The former Duke star is also a very good shooter and has developed a reputation as a closer, which allows James to defer to him in some key moments.
The Lakers are also reportedly looking at Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker for their third available max slot and they have contingency plans, as well, as they have been connected to Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Terrence Ross and Seth Curry.
Carmelo Anthony also could end up in Los Angeles, as well.