Warriors

LeBron James fuels Kyrie Irving-to-Lakers talk with Instagram activity

LeBron James fuels Kyrie Irving-to-Lakers talk with Instagram activity

We know LeBron James reportedly is already recruiting free agents to join him on the Lakers.

James has already reached out to Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, but a former championship teammate of his also is set to hit the market in July.

After the Boston Celtics' season took a nosedive in the second round of the NBA playoffs, many expect Kyrie Irving to opt not to re-sign and instead head for greener pastures. While the New York Knicks are seen as the likely destination, whispers of a potential reunion with James have been growing louder and louder.

Irving apologized to James for the way things ended between them in Cleveland, and the All-Star guard reportedly "has had discussions" about joining the Lakers this summer.

A James-Irving reunion might seem far-fetched, but the two stars hung out together Thursday in Los Angeles, and then James liked a Photoshopped picture of Irving in a Lakers jersey.

It looks like free agency really does begin before June 30.

[RELATED: Draymond calls not playing LeBron in playoffs a mindf--k]

Now, does this mean the Lakers should start drawing up the contract for Irving right now? Of course not, but it's clear what LeBron's goal is. 

If James and the Lakers want to have any chance of knocking off the Warriors next season, they'll need to find another star to pair with James.  While Leonard and Butler would give the Lakers a versatile, two-way star to hound the Warriors' stars, Irving has the championship experience and familiarity with James that the Lakers need to take them to the top.

If the Lakers add a star this offseason, Irving feels like he'll be the one. 

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

James Harden scored 29 points on 16 field-goal attempts the last time the Warriors faced the Houston Rockets back on Feb. 20. Houston won that game 135-105, and it sounds like Golden State's Juan Toscano-Anderson was looking forward to the rematch.

With the NBA season indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Toscano-Anderson and the Warriors have some free time on their hands. Toscano-Anderson made use of it by holding a Q&A on Twitter on Saturday night, at which time he was asked which player -- whether teammate or opponent -- he was most looking forward to playing with or against when the season starts back up.

Toscano-Anderson provided multiple answers.

"Excited to get our whole team back to full strength," Toscano-Anderson replied. "I was very excited to guard James Harden."

Well, you've got to appreciate the fact that he's not afraid of a challenge. There might not be a tougher player to guard than Harden in the entire league, but then again, Toscano-Anderson didn't finally establish himself as an NBA player this season by taking the easy way out.

[RELATED: Toscano-Anderson reveals all-time Warriors starting five]

The Warriors and Rockets were scheduled to play each other for a fourth and final time this season in Houston on April 2. Obviously, that particular game won't take place on that day, but whether it is postponed or canceled, Toscano-Anderson surely will have more opportunities to try to make things harder on Harden.

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

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AP

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

The Warriors don't know if or when the current NBA season will resume, much less the next one. But whenever the 2020-21 season takes place, they'll likely have used several assets at their disposal with which to return to a level of legitimate contention.

But in terms of the Warriors' asset that likely will have the greatest determining impact on their success next season, the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer stands apart from the rest.

Trade exceptions cannot be combined with others, so through the Iguodala trade exception, Golden State cannot acquire a player making more than $17.2 million (technically, it's $17,185,185.) However, trade exceptions can be split, so the Warriors could theoretically use the Iguodala trade exception to acquire multiple players, as long as their combined salaries don't exceed that amount.

While Golden State should absolutely be able to acquire a good player with that trade exception, the Dubs will have the added challenge of only having a tight window with which to use it. Once the league moratorium concludes at noon ET on July 6 (as currently scheduled), the Warriors will only have until the end of the following day to utilize the exception in a trade. They cannot use it prior to the moratorium, though in theory, they could agree to a trade at any point along the way.

Given the indefinite league stoppage due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's possible that Golden State will be granted some kind of an extension to use the Iguodala trade exception, but there is no guarantee. Whenever it expires, however, the Warriors would be wise to use it on one of the following seven players prior to that point.

CLICK FOR SEVEN POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR THE IGUODALA TRADE EXCEPTION