By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
There’s no doubt that the Los Angeles Lakers flipped the NBA world on its head with their move for Anthony Davis.
That move may have shaken up Celtics guard and pending free agent Kyrie Irving’s (flat) world, too, as the 27-year-old may have an interest in joining Davis and LeBron James with the Lakers, according to multiple reports.
Per The Athletic’s David Aldridge, “sources have maintained for months” that Irving wants to play with Davis. And since that won’t be in Boston, and since the Lakers have some cap room to make some moves in free agency, a move to L.A. seems possible for Irving. The Athletic’s Sam Amick, meanwhile, noted that the Lakers believed Irving was still in play for them even before the Davis trade become official and before the Irving-to-Brooklyn rumors spread like wildfire.
It’s just the latest development in an exhausting saga that repeatedly points towards Irving leaving the Celtics.
Just last week it was reported that Irving was preparing to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. That hypothetical checked out, too, as the Nets cleared salary by way of an Allen Crabbe trade, and the move from Boston to Brooklyn seemed like an inevitability after Irving dumped his longtime agent and signed with Jay Z’s ROC Nation agency late last week.
What this means for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who was not willing to move Jayson Tatum in a potential trade for Davis, is anybody’s guess, really. Ainge played the part of a man without a real clue as to Irving’s intentions, too, when speaking with reporters earlier this month.
“I don’t know,” Ainge said when asked if the long-term deal between Irving and the Celtics was still on. “There’s not much I can say about that, honestly. There’s ongoing conversations. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
“It’s his choice to do what he wants.”
One thing the Celtics (and others) could have working in their favor is money, as the Lakers may not have room for a max-contract offer if the Davis-to-LA deal is completed on July 6, the soonest (and expected) date it can be completed. If that happens, and if Davis waives his $4 million trade kicker, the Lakers will have just over $23 million in cap space. If the trade is completed in late July, however, the Lakers will have enough money to sign an Irving, or maybe Kemba Walker, to a max deal.
But trying to figure out what Irving is going to do is basically giving yourself a concussion these days.