Celtics

Celtics

If LeBron James is trying to be subtle, it's not working.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported this week that Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has become "more open" to joining the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency and added Thursday he expects James to try to recruit Irving to L.A.

Apparently that recruiting process already has begun. The Instagram account "Cuffs the Legend" posted a doctored photo of Irving in a Lakers jersey Friday ... and guess who was one of the first to "like" the post?

The caption reads, "I like how this feels," and James' Instagram activity suggests he'd also like reuniting with Irving on the Lakers.

James and Irving have come a long way since the latter's acrimonious exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017. Kyrie even admitted to calling LeBron this winter to seek leadership advice from the three-time NBA champion, so the two clearly have mended fences.

The latest scuttlebutt suggests the Lakers still trail the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets on Irving's free-agent list if he leaves Boston, but James apparently is trying to influence those rankings.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.