Kyrie Irving dealt with an abundance of scrutiny throughout the Boston Celtics’ roller-coaster season. He could be in store for an even greater level of criticism if he makes a certain decision this summer.

Irving will be one of the stars of the offseason when he hits the open market as a free agent. The New York Knicks appear to be the most likely landing spot should he leave Boston, but the Lakers apparently aren’t off the table. In fact, Irving reportedly has become “more open” to the idea of taking his talents to Los Angeles.

Joining the Purple and Gold would be a sensical basketball move for Irving, who already has won a championship with LeBron James. But as far as public perception goes, it just might be the worst choice the star point guard could make.

“If you’re Kyrie, you already asked to leave from playing with LeBron,” Jalen Rose said Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up!” “You go to Boston, it seems like a turn-key situation that should work — it does not work. It kind of looks like you go back crawling to LeBron.”

The Lakers obviously wouldn’t allow Irving to be a clear-cut leader, something he clearly coveted when he demanded a trade out of Cleveland. But in wake of two up-and-down seasons with the Celtics, maybe Irving has decided he’s better suited for a different role. And when it comes to being a No. 2 option, you can do a lot worse than playing second fiddle to James.

There’s no guarantee Irving is on the Lakers’ radar, though. James reportedly already has begun his recruiting process, which has included reaching out to two superstars not named Kyrie Irving.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images