Kyrie Irving Played Role in Lakers Failing to Sign Top FA Target

The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on their top free-agent target and Kyrie Irving played a big part in that.
Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game
Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on their top free agent target of the offseason when Klay Thompson signed with the Dallas Mavericks instead. It was reported that the Lakers and the Mavs were the finalists to land the All-Star sharpshooter, but Thompson chose to play with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving instead.

This was a big shock for Lakers fans. Thompson is a Los Angeles native whose father played for the Lakers for many years. He reportedly wanted to stay on the West Coast. LeBron James was actively recruiting him, even getting on a call with him when free agency kicked off.

The fact that none of this was enough to convince Thompson to sign with the Lakers is very disappointing. In fact, one of the reasons the veteran shooting guard chose Dallas was the involvement of a close friend and foe of LeBron James.

According to Marc Stein of The Stein Line, the Mavericks had recruitment help from Kyrie Irving in trying to convince Klay Thompson.

In his defense, the offensive ecosystem in Dallas may be better for a player like Klay Thompson. Doncic and Irving create a ton of open looks and Thompson wouldn't have a big offensive workload. They also just made the NBA Finals.

Thompson would have been an excellent fit in Los Angeles as well. He would have immediately become the best shooter the Lakers had in the LeBron James era and made everything easier for James and Anthony Davis.

Perhaps this means that LeBron doesn't have the same appeal he used to have in his earlier days. Or it could be the incompetence of the front office and the ownership. The Lakers have consistently failed to build championship-caliber rosters despite having James and Davis and it's possible that players around the league have taken notice.

That is potentially a much bigger problem than losing out on Klay Thompson.

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