Take a step back and analyze the situation from Irving's point of view.
Leonard's camp hasn't leaked anything to date and the Lakers, theoretically, are an attractive destination, armed with the cap space to sign two marquee free agents to accompany James this summer.
Especially if Irving wants the media to minimize the spotlight on him, a desire that he made clear last season.
Windhorst notes there is "no tampering enforcement by players", affording James more leeway in conversations with stars under contract. It's far, far from a lock - the Knicks, and yes Celtics, will make their pitch, too - but reuniting the pair that won a title in Cleveland is on the Lakers' radar. And in a recent report, there are already rumblings that LeBron has begun his pitching to a few of a couple of the big-name free agents. It doesn't hurt that Irving has been mentored by and compared to Kobe Bryant, who played all 20 seasons of his legendary career with the Lakers.