Magic Johnson is free to "tamper" all he wants now that he's out as Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations.

He jumped at that opportunity Monday.

Johnson joined ESPN's "First Take" for a newsworthy interview in which he accused Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka of back-stabbing. But here's the part that will interest Celtics fans: When asked which free agent he'd target this summer if he was still with Los Angeles, Johnson named two players: Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.

"I would say Kawhi and Kyrie are the two guys," Johnson said. "One of those two."

That Johnson has Leonard and Irving atop a free-agent list that includes Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins and other All-Stars is telling, considering Magic was directly involved in the Lakers' affairs just over a month ago and likely has good insight into which players are on LeBron James' wish list.

There also are reports that Irving has considered reuniting with James in L.A., although Stephen A. Smith reported last week a source close to Irving said there's "no way in hell" the Celtics guard signs with the Lakers.

That probably won't stop L.A. from pursuing Irving, though. While pushing back on the rumors of Leonard seeming like a lock to join the Clippers, Johnson added:


"Once you get into that room and you've got LeBron sitting there, everything changes."

Would LeBron and the Lakers be able to lure Irving from Boston or another suitor like the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets? If Magic was still in charge, it sounds like they'd make a strong push.

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