NBA

Lakers rumor roundup: LeBron, Kyrie, trades and NBA draft

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Perhaps one aspect of a Kyrie Irving acquisition for the Lakers that hasn’t been discussed enough is the relationship between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Years ago, it was this relationship that played a role in their split from Cleveland.

For things to move forward this offseason, it would probably take some sort of reconciliation between James and Irving. But based on the latest reports, the two appear to have reached an agreement which could pave the way for them to a new team.

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All that and more in today’s headlines and rumors.

Irving wants to team up with LeBron

One of the interesting headlines of the past few months, especially in hindsight, was when Kyrie Irving expressed regret about how he left Cleveland. It likely laid the foundation for what would become the path for him to join the Lakers this summer.

Now those around the NBA think Kyrie is working to get back to LeBron, according to Sam Amick of Athleticism.

As Amick says, LeBron would open that door, which is a big factor in that regard. Maybe last season’s failures with the Lakers made LeBron more forgiving, or maybe it’s old age, but his mindset has changed from his initial reaction of confusion and frustration immediately after the departure of Kyrie from Cleveland.

LeBron wants to team up with Kyrie

It’s not a one-way Kyrie street that needs LeBron, though. LeBron knows how much teaming up with Kyrie would improve the Lakers. According to Kyle Goon of CO registerhe is one of many Lakers who see Irving as an improvement (emphasis mine).

Obviously, if James was burned forever by Irving asking for a trade in 2017, there would be no smoke to speak of with the Lakers. Several reporters, such as Marc Stein, said there was communication between James and Irving as the situation with the Nets continued to stagnate. James believes Irving can help the Lakers, and conversations I’ve had around the team indicate he’s not alone. It may be that James and others who have rubbed shoulders with Irving believe he will be willing to do what is necessary to win in Los Angeles – or perhaps they simply believe that the factors on the field will outweigh off-field factors.

None of this makes the actual acquisition of Irving any easier. There still has to be either the giant leap of faith that Irving would turn down $30 million, or the faint hope of a three-team trade that’s only slightly more likely.

But in the age of player empowerment in the NBA, there’s a long history of players asking/demanding to go to a specific team and eventually land there, even though that might be one greatest tests of this idea.

Two-day Lakers draft trades?

The Lakers made a trade on draft day to acquire the No. 35 pick, ultimately selecting Michigan State wing Max Christie. Jovan Buha from Athleticism revealed a few things in his post-draft article about the selection, including the fact that Christie was the highest remaining prospect on their scoreboard and the team came close to making another trade.

Christie, a 6-foot-6 wing from Michigan State, was the highest remaining prospect on the Lakers draft board, league sources said. Athleticism. The Lakers had hoped Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard, the No. 31 pick, would drop to them at No. 35, sources said. Kendall Brown, the No. 48 pick, was also under consideration for Los Angeles at No. 35. The Lakers considered buying another second-round pick to draft Brown, sources said.

Kendall Brown was taken by the Pacers and, like Christie, is more of a draft as a prospect than someone who can make an immediate impact. Interestingly, the team was considering adding a second draft pick who might not have been an instant impact player, but with so many empty spots on the roster, there’s room to resell.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed at itunes, Spotify, embroiderer Where Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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