The Kyrie Irving-to-LA rumors got a little spicier on Wednesday. On Monday, Shams Charania's reported that the Lakers would be one of the teams interested in acquiring Kyrie if the guard and Brooklyn couldn't come to terms on a contract extension. The likelihood of a move was somewhat predicated on Irving opting into the final year of his contract with the Nets and then requesting a trade to the Lakers.
If Kyrie opted out, a sign-and-trade would then have to be facilitated which would make a more complex situation vastly more complex.
However, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, LeBron and Kyrie have spoken about Irving prospectively coming to LA.
"There are credible rumblings in circulation that Irving, for starters, has indeed had some recent contact with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, his former Cleveland teammate, to presumably discuss a potential reunion in Hollywood."
Stein mentioned that it would be a "stretch" to say that the Lakers are "currently pursuing Irving". But he also suggested a wild idea that was also floated by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday as a mechanism to land Irving in LA without requiring a trade - Kyrie signing a one-year deal for the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.4M).
Now, Kyrie would have to be willing to turn down about $30M in salary next season and leave his reportedly close friend Kevin Durant in the dust. It would be almost unprecedented, but as Stein, and Woj pointed out, Kyrie is the type of guy who isn't afraid to thing unconventionally.
"Then again: If any player is capable of shocking the NBA universe and accepting such a pay cut, isn’t Irving that guy?"
The next few days should continue to provide plenty of intrigue about Kyrie prospectively signing with LA, especially if Irving decides to opt out of the final year of his contract by next week's deadline.