Atlantic Notes: Irving, Stevens, Leonard, Brown, Ujiri

There has been speculation that Kyrie Irving‘s days in Boston may be numbered as he can hit the free agent market after next season. We already noted that Irving will not consider an extension this summer as his focus is coming back healthy from knee surgery and helping the Celtics capture a championship.

A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston examines all the reasons why it makes sense for Irving to stay in Boston beyond next season. As Blakely notes, the Celtics’ ability to field a winning team and to offer him the most money, along with the chance of leading a team to a championship, are all reasons for Irving to remain in Celtics green. Blakely also notes the stability of the Celtics’ front office and coaching staff as strong points since Irving’s stint with the Cavaliers included four head coaches and three general managers.

A healthy Irving will strengthen a team that was on the brink of an NBA Finals appearance. In addition to Irving, Gordon Hayward is expected back healthy next season. A strong year — along with Boston’s resources — could lead to Irving signing long-term in Beantown.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Brad Stevens is regarded as one of the NBA’s premier coaches. He has led the Celtics to the playoffs in four of his five NBA seasons and to the conference finals the past two years. As he gears up for the 2018/19 season with a healthy roster, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders explains why next season may be the most important of Stevens’ career.
  • NBC Sports Boston discussed whether or not it makes sense to deal one of the Celtics’ top young players in a trade for Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard. We relayed yesterday that Boston made an offer for Leonard before the trade deadline this past season.
  • After Bryan Colangelo’s departure from the Sixers due to his alleged use of burner accounts, head coach Brett Brown was given the role on an interim basis until a replacement general manager is hired. Derek Bodner of The Athletic (subscription required) writes about the challenge Brown faces and how it may be too much responsibility.
  • President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said the Raptors are “open for business” as the team tries to construct a more sustainable roster, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
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7 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Irving, Stevens, Leonard, Brown, Ujiri

  1. DarkGhost

    It would be the ultimate f u of Lebron went there and booted Irving out lol.

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    • KCelts

      What’s crazy is that actually isn’t impossible. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.

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  2. Irving did what every max level player in his contract position has done since these early extension rules came into play — indicated he would turn down an early extension. But, only in his case, does it lead to speculation that he might leave after this year. Look, he might, as Hayward did. He should certainly play out the year, that’s what the contract contemplated. But, unless there’s something else, he’s no more likely to leave than any other UFA.

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  3. cesc

    You see I am not so sure Boston will be better with KI & Hayward next year, specially as Hayward if he starts, that means that either JB or JT, probably JT will have to go to the bench, as KI & Hayward are not good defenders & JB is better than JT. To me this is not good, putting your budding star in the bench, he did very well this year, those 2 vets won’t contribute above what was done this year, they will take the place, minutes & numbers of some young player, which to me defeats the purpose, realistically they should try to trade them while they can, still cannot believe why Ainge overpaid so much for Hayward, is a good player in his late 20’s that is only been an all-star once & never all-nba (most probably will never be one) he is good but not a star in this league, he was way overpaid, that was a big mistake from Ainge, unlike Horford he is paid a lot but he is a star.

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    • Brackish Hippo

      You make some very nice points, but you lose me when suggesting Ainge doesn’t know what he’s doing regarding GH.

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    • canajay12

      Irving, Hayward, Brown, Tatum, Horford starting five.
      Morris and Rozier as “6th man” types who play A lot of minutes. If Irving is 35 mins per game Rozier subs him for 13 and plays along side him another 8-12 per night.

      Smart is gone and then the rest of them play traditional role player spots. They have enough versatility to swap out a couple starters at a time and use quite a few lineup combinations.

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    • jak9dmb

      you must have missed the ECF and how badly the C’s missed having someone who can reliably create their own offense. JT, JB, Rozier, and even Horford couldn’t (this year), both Kyrie and Hayward have proven they can. Yes, defense will take a hit, but it’s worth it to not have long stretches, and crunch time, struggling for offense.

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