Los Angeles Lakers: 5 free agents L.A. could regret not signing

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

2. Kyrie Irving

Speaking of Kyrie Irving, he was one of the names most commonly linked to the Lakers ahead of free agency.

It was just two years ago when Irving demanded a trade out of Cleveland and away from LeBron, apparently wanting to lead his own team as the unquestioned go-to guy and No. 1 option. Irving got that opportunity with the Celtics, but after two seasons in Boston he reportedly soured on the city and wanted a change of scenery.

Contrary to popular belief, Kyrie and LeBron never hated each other, and earlier this year the two patched up whatever tension they did have when Kyrie called LeBron to apologize about how things went down in Cleveland.

That set the table for a lot of rumors that Irving was open to reuniting with LeBron in L.A. and re-forming the tandem that delivered the Cavaliers their first NBA championship.

However, it appears the pull of hometown was too much to resist, and Irving reportedly agreed to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. There, the six-time All-Star will be teaming up with fellow free agent addition Kevin Durant and playing close to where he grew up in New Jersey.

If Leonard does leave the Raptors and if Durant recovers from his injury, the Nets should be a favorite to win the East in a couple of years.