That’s according to Yahoo Sports’ NBA insider Chris Haynes.
Kyrie can become a free agent this coming offseason and while he has previously declared he would re-sign with Boston at an event at the TD Garden in front of Celtics’ season-ticket holders, recent suggestions have asked whether he could be tempted to leave.
That’s with Boston having not been the power in the Eastern Conference that they were expected to be this season in spite of their excellent roster, with Brad Stevens’ team behind the Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.
Irving has recently hinted at discontent at the Celtics, declaring: “The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”
He retracted the harshness of those comments but also revealed he has spoken to LeBron over the phone and apologised for his actions in Cleveland – insisting he wanted too much, too young and hinting that he is encountering struggles trying to be the senior leader of a team.
Kyrie left the Cavs to lead his own team in Boston despite having enjoyed huge success together in Ohio, leading the city of Cleveland to its first title in 52 years.
The 26-year-old admitted: “I I had to call ‘Bron, and tell him I apologise for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”
That has led to suggestions Kyrie could opt to join LeBron in LA with the Lakers looking to pair the four-time MVP with another elite-calibre player to boost their championship chances.
But Yahoo’s Haynes doesn’t see their reunion being a possibility, although he acknowledges the Lakers would be keen to make something happen.
Speaking on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics Talk podcast, Haynes said: “I can’t [see that] because you’ve gotta hold him to his word.
“He’s the one that came out unprompted and said he’s gonna be a Celtic next year.
“So I haven’t heard anything on the grapevine that suggests Kyrie – this is the first I’ve heard that he could be thinking about joining the Lakers.
“But I wouldn’t put it past, all these teams have an obligation to check on all the free agents and gauge their interest.
“So I definitely think the Lakers and a number of other teams will do their due diligence but I gotta take Kyrie by his word.
“He said he’s gonna be a Celtic. It’s different when a player, because we hear it all the time, when players say, ‘I would love to be here. This is home to me. I’ve grown up and became a leader here, I’ve experienced great success here.’
“But to say, ‘I’m coming back.’ That’s a little too far to turn back on right now.
“That would be news to me, a narrative to circulate as far as his ties to the Lakers. I expect him to be back.”
LeBron and Kyrie are due to go head-to-head for the first time this season in Boston on February 8, though the former is currently out with a groin strain which has seen him miss 12 straight games for LA.