The Los Angeles Lakers remain a long shot in the Kyrie Irving free agency sweepstakes. But they're very much still an option, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Here's Windhorst speaking Monday night on "SportsCenter" about the chances of Irving leaving the Boston Celtics to reunite with ex-teammate LeBron James in Los Angeles:
"If you had asked me six months ago, I would have had said the door was closed and locked, that was not gonna happen. But over the last few months, there has no doubt been a thawing between Kyrie and LeBron and Kyrie has become to be more open to joining the Lakers and has done some research on the organization."
Earlier Monday, former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said Irving and Kawhi Leonard would be his top two free-agent priorities if he was still in L.A.'s front office.
Irving has plenty of other options, namely the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and his current team, the Celtics. The Lakers might rank behind those options for the N.J. native, but Windhorst believes they're still in the mix.
"With Magic leaving, that was a guy he felt a connection to," Windhorst added. "And with great opportunities in Brooklyn and in New York, plus Boston trying to keep him, I think the Lakers are lower on his list. But they’re on his list, and that gives them a fighting chance.
"Boston has got to still be worried about the Lakers in the Kyrie pursuit."
The Lakers need to get their own house in order; Johnson accused general manager Rob Pelinka of backstabbing on his way out, and the historic franchise faces mounting pressure to find a star to pair with James. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith also reported recently there's "no way in hell" Irving signs in L.A. this summer.
But the Celtics star has remained unpredictable, and it sounds like Tinseltown still has a seat at his free agency table.
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