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The Los Angeles Lakers are currently focused on chasing a championship and next up is a second-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. However long their playoff run lasts, the Lakers will soon have some difficult decisions to make during free agency. 

One, though, has apparently already been made: the Lakers are not interested in signing controversial guard Kyrie Irving, according to The Athletic. Irving, who finished the 2022-23 season with the Mavericks, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and has long been linked to the Lakers. 

The speculation began in earnest last summer when Irving's future with the Brooklyn Nets first came into serious doubt. Even once he picked up his player option, there were near-constant rumors and reports about a potential trade involving the Lakers and Nets. 

When Irving officially requested a trade from the Nets ahead of February's trade deadline, LeBron James fanned the flames by saying he could "obviously" turn the Lakers into a contender. The Lakers, of course, did not trade for Irving, who instead went to the Dallas Mavericks in a deadline deal. That turn of events left James "disappointed" because of his "great chemistry" with his former teammate. More recently, Irving sat courtside for Game 6 of the Lakers' first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies and the two shook hands during pre-game warm-ups. 

For as much influence as James may have on personnel decisions, he hasn't been able to convince the Lakers' front office to acquiring Irving, and it doesn't seem like that will change this summer. And for good reason. 

While Irving would give the Lakers a certified third star alongside James and Anthony Davis, he is just as injury-prone as them and unpredictable off the court. In addition, the Lakers would have to clear out the entire roster besides James and Davis to sign him, which would mean losing the valuable role players that make this team tick; we have very recent evidence -- the disastrous Russell Westbrook trade -- that suggests that strategy doesn't work. Furthermore, even if the Lakers did that, they could only get to about $30 million in cap space, and Irving will be eligible to make $47 million, so they would have to convince him to take a discount. 

Given how successful the Lakers have been since the trade deadline with a roster that finally makes some sense around James and Davis, it would be a major mistake to immediately scap that plan and go star chasing again. The front office may have been convinced to do so once, but it cannot happen a second time.