Report: Lakers could still land Kyrie Irving, who 'wants to play with' Anthony Davis

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers landed Anthony Davis as a second star to pair with LeBron James, the next big question emerges: Who will be their third star?

After trading just about every young player on their roster this side of Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers are in position to add another max player. The order of operations for signing any max player may be tough because of the timing of the Davis trade, but as favorites to win the title next season, the Lakers will be a hot destination.

One of the players that continually gets brought up is Kyrie Irving.

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Although the star point guard went through a public divorce with James when they were on the Cleveland Cavaliers two years ago, Irving has grown closer to James over time. In January he called to apologize to James for their fallout, and now a reunion could be on the horizon.

According to a report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, James was confident that Irving was considering the Lakers even before his team pulled off its biggest trade in a decade. Having AD on board only increases the intrigue, although the deal may require Irving to take a slight pay cut.

Even if we assume that Davis waives his $4.7 million trade kicker to help the team add another star — who doesn’t love free money? — the Lakers will only have cleared $32.5 million. That’s a bit less than the $139 million over four years most teams can offer him and far less than the $190 million over five years the Boston Celtics can dangle. And that’s even before considering California’s nation-high income tax.

Still, the fact that Irving has shown a willingness to consider other teams beyond the Celtics shows money isn’t the only factor for him. Multiple sources tell The Athletic’s David Aldridge that he has long wanted to play alongside Davis, whether in Boston, New York or L.A. Now would be his opportunity, similarly to how James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took a slight pay cut to play for the Miami Heat nearly a decade ago.

But even if Irving opts to sign elsewhere, the Lakers should have other strong options. Kemba Walker has become a bona fide star — if not Kyrie Irving-lite — and the Lakers have been tied to every star from Kawhi Leonard to Jimmy Butler.

Kyrie Irving reportedly wants to play with Anthony Davis next season. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving reportedly wants to play with Anthony Davis next season. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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