3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to LeBron James

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Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James
CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 17: LeBron James #23 and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talk at mid court in the first half against the Toronto Raptors in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio, 3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to LeBron James. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to LeBron James: Kyrie Irving

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving spent several years together with the Cleveland Cavaliers and even helped the franchise take home a title in 2016. The pair went their separate ways in what was an ugly split, but rumors are swirling that the Los Angeles Lakers may have some interest in bringing them together once again.

Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required), Irving, who is set to have a player option this offseason, is currently at an impasse with the Brooklyn Nets in contract talks and could end up playing elsewhere if no resolution is found. Charania noted that LA is expected to be among the teams potentially interested if that is the case, which is compelling.

Lakers fans would need little convincing as to why bringing Irving in would be a good idea for the purple and gold. The 30-year-old has been one of the best point guards in the entire association since he was drafted and reuniting him with James, who he has won with previously, would be a dream for most Laker fans.

Irving would be a much more seamless fit than Westbrook currently is at the point guard position as well, and if the team has the chance to make the swap, they would do it in a heartbeat, as it would make them far more formidable on impact.

Now, getting Irving to the Lakers is far easier said than done. If Irving were to opt-out of his deal with the Nets next season worth $36.5 million, he would have to take a significant pay cut to join the Lakers, which would pay him somewhere around $6 million in 2022-23.

Typically, some would say that there is no way Irving would even consider doing so, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski did report that it was not out of the realm of possibility that the guard would do it. If the Lakers did ultimately land Irving on a one-year deal worth $6 million, that would be an incredible steal.

The entire situation is complicated for the Lakers, and it will be fascinating to see if anything does happen between Irving and LA or if this is just smoke as the guard tries to secure a long-term deal from the Nets this offseason. Nevertheless, if Irving opts out of his player option this offseason, he will be a worthwhile target for the Los Angeles Lakers without question.

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