Kyrie Irving move to LA Lakers, LeBron James’ comments after All-Star game, trade, Dallas Mavericks, Anthony Davis, latest news

With his second pick of the starters round in the NBA All-Star draft, LeBron James selected Kyrie Irving – to reunite their Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 championship winning partnership for just the second time since Irving’s infamous trade to the Boston Celtics.

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After playing together again on Team LeBron for the 2023 NBA All-Star game, both James and Irving sung each others praises post-match.

“It’s obviously great to team back up with Kyrie,” James said.

“You guys know how I feel about him, both on the court and off the court, it’s always good to see him.

“I’m very proud of him. I’m very proud of the man that he has become in his life right now.”

Irving also had nothing but kind words to say about his former Cavaliers teammate in the aftermath.

“I was happy to get picked to his team. Wish we could have gotten the win,” he said.

“I’ve been a first-hand witness to a lot of his great accomplishments. I was there when he was passing a lot of guys on Cleveland and then us being competitors, it only made the game a lot better. I think we’ve learned a lot from one another and just wishing (him) nothing but the best.”

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When LeBron James talks, everybody takes notice and the comments, especially LeBron’s, certainly raised eyebrows and reignited speculation that they will he and Kyrie look to join forces again next season for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“LeBron is on full on recruitment mode, saying wonderful things about Kyrie,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during an appearance on ‘Get Up’ on Tuesday (AEDT).

NBA legend Vince Carter concurred that James was using his position as All-Star captain to increase his chances of recruiting Irving in the off-season.

“Come on, Windy! You know what he’s doing, you’ve been around him long enough,” Carter responded.

“LeBron is smart, he plays chess, he’s always thinking ahead of everyone else. He knows this is the right time, (I believe he’s thinking) ‘If I’m gonna do it, then I’m gonna set the stage right now (and) plant that seed right now to let you guys know what I’m planning to try doing this summer’.

“I look forward to seeing how this plays out, more than likely we probably will see Kyrie in a Laker uniform because of this.”

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James also made some interesting comments after the All-Star game regarding his availability down the stretch for the Lakers.

“23 of the most important games of my career for a regular season and that’s the type of mindset I have and I hope the other guys will have coming back from the break,” he said.

“I wanna make a push to make the playoffs, I don’t wanna see myself not being apart of the postseason for two years straight. It’s just not part of my DNA.

“We sit up here talking about (breaking) the (scoring) record and things of that nature and that’s all cool but I’m more passionate about trying to make the postseason and give ourselves a chance to compete for another Larry O’Brien trophy. That’s just who I am, that’s what I’m cut from. I hope I can figure out a way to just make sure I’m available on the floor every single night for these 23 games.”

FS1’s Chris Broussard believes that the 38-year-old’s comments were a cryptic message to the other half of the Lakers’ superstar duo.

“I think LeBron is sending a message to one Anthony Davis,” he said.

“… He’s sending a message to Anthony Davis that ‘You need to take this attitude that I’m about to display (and) you need to take it (on board) AD’.

“… This summer is going to be interesting. You talk to some people around the league (and) they’re saying Dallas’ number one objective this summer is Kyrie Irving for Anthony Davis in a sign-and-trade. That’s what the scuttlebutt is around the league… but if AD doesn’t ball in these last 23 games and at least get them to the play in, then the Lakers might look at something like that.”

Co-host Nick Wright agreed with Broussard’s take.

“I absolutely think this is him talking to Anthony (Davis) saying ‘Hey man we can’t have any games the rest of the way that both of us miss (and) I’m gonna try to be there for all of them’,” Wright said.

“… I think they (the Lakers) need to go 14-9 to guarantee themselves a spot in the Play-in because that will be 41-41 (overall) and I would be shocked if that doesn’t at least get you in the Play-in.

“We saw… Anthony Davis something happened with him and his mentality right before the LeBron record-breaking night, which was right around the trade deadline… he just started playing oddly, passively and seemingly disinterested.”

Volume Sports’ Jason Timpf also shared Broussard’s sentiments during a recent episode of ‘The Colin Cowherd Podcast’, even suggesting that a young Australian rising star could be involved in the potential blockbuster sign-and-trade.

“If AD cannot return to form then you start to look at potentially him being the vehicle for a Kyrie Irving sign-and-trade,” Timpf said.

“Maybe you get a Josh Green out of Dallas as well, maybe you get one other first round pick. Jarred Vanderbilt is such a good, work-hard forward for them, if they can get one more centre you start to look at them as a more offensively focused team behind Kyrie and LeBron.

“LeBron when he is surrounded by really good shooters and ball handlers, he does devote more energy to the defensive end of the floor and can be really impactful there – just look at the 2016 Cavs.”

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This latest speculation involving a potential Davis for Irving exchange between the Lakers and Mavericks follows an earlier report that tension is brewing within the Los Angeles Lakers, with LeBron James “not happy” with Anthony Davis’ reliability and commitment as their season continues to stutter.

Davis also had a noticeable reaction to James breaking the all-time scoring record and it was for all the wrong reasons.

As just about everyone inside the venue rose to their feet and applauded, footage emerged of Davis remaining in his seat.

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka recently tried to execute a trade with the Brooklyn Nets ahead of the mid-season trade deadline that would’ve seen Kyrie land in L.A. to form a superstar trio with LeBron and AD.

However the Nets instead shipped Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, with Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai reportedly adamant that he did not want to send the 30-year-old point guard to his preferred destination in Southern California.

The Mavericks’ trade for Irving came with considerable risk as he can simply become an unrestricted free agent this off-season and technically could still walk away from Dallas and end up in L.A., but that remains unlikely as they do however hold the trump card in being able to offer him more money than any rivals.

Should James and Irving wish to join forces on the Lakers next season then that’s where a possible sign-and-trade with Anthony Davis could come into play, especially if AD fails to produce down the stretch and the purple and gold fail to even make the play-in tournament for the second consecutive season.

Davis’ five-year, $A274 million deal wraps up in 2025, although he can terminate the contract in 2024.

It’s the rumour that just won’t go away and as the old adage goes where there’s smoke there’s usually fire.

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